A lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Dominica State College is calling for Dominican women to be leaders and to lobby for the review of critical laws pertaining to women.
Nursing and Midwifery Lecturer, Rosie Felix, made the remarks during the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW) on Monday.
She told the gathering that they should be leaders so they can identify when they are being led down the wrong road or being taken for a ride.
“In other words don’t be a blind follower, have your head on and be ready to change from the clause of violence to one of safety and security,” she noted. “Lobby for the review of legislation to allow the prosecution of men who abuse women, as long as there is a witness other than the woman who doesn’t want to bring charges against a partner.”
Felix mentioned that it is common among Dominican women not to press charges against partners who batter them. “They will not consent to charges to be brought against their partner, not recognizing that intimate partner violence is not a private issue, it is a public health concern,” she stated.
She said that women should be empowered to take a stance against violence. “Women and girls need to be empowered to take a stand to stop violence against us. If we are praying and have ever prayed for an end to violence, then we need to help answer our own prayers. We can begin by empowering ourselves and our daughters,” she pointed out.
Felix added, “It is my belief that if we have no power to stop the crimes against women and girls, then our women liberation and ‘woman time’ efforts are ineffective. In other words if it is woman time, then let’s stop the crime.”
She also mentioned that women should educate themselves because “economic power is woman power. Do not let anyone talk you out of the need to work, instead cry out for jobs for women. Believe in yourself, believe you can succeed in something you are passionate about”.