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“ It was also reported that discrimination based on “age, sex, area of residence, religion, disability, sexuality, migrant status or HIV status”, and that the attitudes of people toward “sex workers, the disabled, Rastafari, gays, the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, to mention some … meant lack of access to several public amenities and services, and therefore limited their ability to enhance their living conditions”. ”
We’ll be posting a much more serious and sober report later but here are some quick reflections from a few of the Catch a Fire participants.
Day 1 of our Caribbean Feminist Grounding was really (personally) transformative. Something Shifted. Something Changed. And maybe I just needed y’all to remind me *why* and to think together (creatively) through the *how’s*. Thank you sisters for re-igniting the flame! Sistrens, how we ah go mek dis movement move??!?!
I often wish I lived on a deserted island far away from people. But now, I want to live in a commune with the amazing, fiery, beautiful women of Caribbean Feminists CatchAFyah! So I’m just going to think of the Caribbean as my commune ;P Two quotes from Audre Lorde are resonating as I reflect and return to the work: “Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression.” Also- “Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change.” We are stronger, more effective together. 1 ♥
On Sisterhood Across Difference
Someone asked me what the other ladies at Catch A Fire were like. I said they were like me! Even though we are certainly very unique individuals, it was great to feel that sisterhood among us. And somewhere within ourselves, we are all feminists who have caught a fyah…
Though not necessarily individually, we were a privileged group. We were funded, had a comfortable meeting space (that was not wheelchair accessible) and among us were many a university degree. That in itself is a disconnect from large numbers of women and men our work seeks support and empower. Even those words, support and empower are problematic… Though raised, the challenge remains, how do we make it different for our next meeting? For our next project(s)? For our work? Class privilege is unwieldy dammit!
I have been in many queer positive spaces in my life. Both in the Caribbean and in North America. This was yet another one of them which was lovely. I have enjoyed straight privilege most of my life however I am mostly read as queer outside of being in a relationship with men. Many womyn in the group identified as lgbtqi and spoke to their experience. However very few (myself included) spoke to their experience of straightness. I greatly appreciated a post my another member who spoke to this silence post-meeting which so beautifully encapsulated how I feel about my own sexuality which makes me simultaneously shy away from labeling myself (b/c it’s so much more complex than any label but also want to identify/name) and speak to the privilege of straightness. (via Add Fyah And Stir. read entire post here.)
This was [an] amazing 3 days. The insights, spirits, comments and inspiration to go on is willed. The time is now, the opportunity is here. … i just cant stop talking about next step. A fyah was certainly caught in Barbados. GET F’ED UP!!!!!
Thank you SISTAS
On Inter-generational & South-South Learning
The selection of participants I believe indeed contributed greatly to the grounding. The fact that participants presented on issues and assisted with managing the group over the two days. Having Dr. Antrobus and other invited guest from DAWN and Red Thread was also inspiring and added motivation as to why my involvement was one to be proud of.
On Safe Spaces
I loved the women that attended. All so powerful, interesting, and inspiring. The opportunity and space to meet like-minded persons with an interest in changing the status quo. I also deeply appreciated the safeness of the space, I love that women could be open and honest about who they are and without fear. And the food was amazing!
Here are some of the top stories in Caribbean feminist and gender news:
Guyana to begin vaccinating girls against HPV this week! This month is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. What a great way to begin the month! Time for the other Caribbean countries to follow Guyana’s lead!
Some Good, Some Bad
Dominica and The Bahamas have been ranked among the top 10 ethical destinations in the developing world for 2012. Countries were evaluated in three main categories: environmental protection, social welfare and human rights. Dominica was lauded for its renewable energy policy and for being one of the few Caribbean nations to sign a statement of LGBTQ rights at the UN in 2011. The Bahamas received kudos for its commitment to shark conservation. Both Dominica and The Bahamas were ranked highly in terms of political rights, civil liberties and press freedom. Barbados was on last year’s list, but wasn’t included in the 2012 ranking; the reason given was that the government has not shown itself to be committed to its promises of environmental protection and sustainability.
Woman in Guyana dies after unsafe abortion even though abortion has been legal there since 1996. Former Minister of Health says that women may be uninformed about certified abortion providers.
JLP described PM Portia Simpson Miller’s decision to appoint three women to the Cabinet as ‘jobs for the girls’.Three woman cabinet members dismissed as illegitimate, unnecessarily costly excess baggage just because they are women, no, girls!
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CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men. We are the only online source for daily updates and aggregation of Caribbean news and links related to feminist, gender and sexuality issues (via our facebook page)