WDI Bahamas statement on the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2022

The Bahamas Chapter of Women’s Declaration International stands with all women who are subject to any form of intimate partner or domestic violence.

Women's Declaration International Bahamas advocates against gender ideology and any policies and laws that become discriminatory toward women.

We stand with the government of the Bahamas in the ongoing consultation process for the amendment of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2022, which seeks to punish offenders of marital rape within the sanctity of marriage.

We wish to make mention to the fact that the amendments in question do fill a legislative gap for women and does align with the human rights aspects of CEDAW.

We also wish to state that it is our view that in order to maintain such protections the government of the Bahamas should seek alternative means by developing relevant and viable case law that can protect women at the national level.

We do believe that all women should be protected under Bahamian law from all forms of violence and the law should tangibly predict measurable means of protection.

It is further our belief that these amendments can facilitate an avenue to integrate gender ideology into legislation and obscure facts about violence, however we also believe that within the context of CEDAW gender refers to two sexes, male and female.

We trust that the Bahamas government as well as women’s rights advocates and activists will continue to maintain its sex-based context within the CEDAW convention.

We believe that focus should be on shifting the culture of silence in domestic and sexual offences.

This can be achieved by advocating for strong civic spaces and also by aiding in the social elements of preserving safe spaces so that women are presented with the best options for care and well-being, based on male-perpetrated violence against them, as outlined in Article 8 Reaffirming the need for the elimination of violence against women.

Finally, we wish to state that we support any and all laws that allow for the care and well-being of all women and girls in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. WDI Bahamas is also here to support, email: [email protected]