Untied Workers Party (UWP) candidate for the La Plaine constituency, Francisca Joseph is urging women to take action in making a change in the lives of other women.
“Women need to have equal rights that the men have. Now, I’m not talking about numbers. Yes, we may have 50/50 but I’m talking about what exactly are women doing…to change the lives of other women and girls,” she said while speaking on a radio programme on the eve of International Women’s Day which was observed on Friday March 8, 2019.
“We know over the years what our women have been going through. We have a lot of gender-based violence… and statics have shown us that they are abused more by their families… spouses. It happens to men as well,” said Joseph, who is a former teacher and Adult Education Officer.
“I would really love to see our women take up the challenges that women face. What do you do when a woman is severely beaten by her husband or her spouse, where does she go?” she asked. ” Do we put her back into the same abusive situation? … what about women groups? How many that we have that are working well?”
She stated her intention as a potential parliamentarian to use Dominica’s social protection programmes for women, to empower them so that they will be able to work; to give them “a hand up not a hand out.”
The Delices-born politician declared that as Dominica embarks on the journey of becoming a resilient nation, everyone should be taken care of; not just those who are able bodied, but all those who are physically challenged and women who are vulnerable.
Joseph said she hopes to strengthen the link between the Legal Aid Clinic and Bureau of Gender Affairs to better assist and take care of men and women who require such assistance.