Constitutional equality group calls on PM to educate and act on referendum


Tribune Staff Reporter


CITIZENS for Constitutional Equality (CCE) is demanding that the government not only pass the gender equality referendum bills through Parliament but also set a date before the end of the year and allow at least six months before the vote for "intense preparation."

At its first public forum, at Holy Cross Parish Hall on Thursday night, the CCE issued an open letter to Prime Minister Perry Christie which said that notwithstanding the hard work of the Constitutional Commission it is clear that the "government is not taking its responsibility seriously".

“There are many who do not support the principles of equality between women and men, and that is their constitutional right. But Prime Minister, you have the power and the mandate to be the change: to stand unequivocally and unapologetically for an equal society. We are calling on you to act without delay,” the letter said.

"In the CCE’s monitoring of the preparatory process leading to the postponement of the referendum, it found that on both sides of the political divide there are policymakers with inadequate understanding of gender equality; that some were confused and still are when it comes to the issues. This is cause for concern as leaders of constituencies have an influence that fosters fear-based misunderstandings among constituents about gender equality and women’s empowerment."

The CCE is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, civil society network of non-governmental organisations and women’s groups that support the vision of constitutional equality for women and men in The Bahamas.

Formed in August 2014 on a strong human rights mandate to ensure that the voice of civil society informs preparations for the constitutional referendum, the CCE conducts public education and advocacy to support the advancement of equal rights in the Bahamas.

CCE is also a member of the Global Campaign for Equality Nationality Laws, an initiative of the Open Society Foundation, Equal Rights Trust, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women and other international organisations.

Steering committee members of the CCE include Audrey Roberts, Donna Nicolls, Fran Dillet, Janet Fountain, Marion Bethel, Natalie Bethel, Noelle Nicolls and Sandra Dean-Patterson.


John 9 years ago

The political and the social environment is not conducive to having a referendum at this time. There is still a lot of strife and distrust between the people and the government and the referendum will be defeated. Will only result in loss of money and creation of more suspicion by the people about the government. There has to be some healing and easing of tensions first or even some economic relief.


duppyVAT 9 years ago



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