#Nassau, August 20, 2019 – Bahamas – Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told executives of a visiting group of male organizations that one of the best ways they can partner with the Ministry to ensure equity and equality for women, and the protection of women across The Bahamas, is if they continue to provide positive influences/programmes geared towards the nation’s young men.
“There is a saying: ‘Bend the tree while it is young.’ Another is that ‘it is easier to build a boy, than repair a man.’ Both of those are very wise sayings that would be useless clichés if we do not put them into action,” Minister Campbell said.
“If we want to bring equity and equality to our girls and females; if we want to ensure the protection of our girls and women from gender-based violence, all of our efforts would be in vain if we do not ensure that there are similarly-minded Adams to partner with them and so our underlying efforts have to be to save Adam while we work to ensure that there is equality and equity and empowerment for our girls and women.
“What we have here is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our boys and men and by extension, our girls and women. I assure you of my personal commitment to this process as a man who has three daughters who someday are going to need husbands. Someday your daughters and the daughters of all of the other fathers in our Bahamas are going to need husbands, and so our jobs as men in this society, is to ensure that there are some good husbands out there from among whom they can select.
“This presents yet another connection – the depth of our obligation to be parents/fathers to as many young children, the boys in particular, since our statistics indicate that boys and men – for the most part – are the perpetrators of violence. If we father them now, we reduce the likelihood of encountering them in a violent capacity,” Minister Campbell added.
Minister Campbell’s charge came while addressing the men during a Working Meeting with members of the International Men’s Day Committee and executives of the Movement for Change, Dream Catchers and R.I.S.E. (Reform, Inspire, Strengthen and Educate) Programmes. The latter three operate year-round life and social skills enhancement programmes for males living in the urban communities.
The group met with Minister Campbell to discuss a number of matters impacting males in The Bahamas, and to present the Minister with a plaque to show their appreciation for the establishment of a Male Desk at the Department of Gender and Family Affairs.
Minister Campbell told the group that while he appreciated the gesture, it was he who was thankful to them and the work they have been doing in the community.
(The International Men’s Day Committee has expanded its role from mainly organising activities to observe IMD annually in November, to focusing on addressing the social issues impacting men year-round through various partnerships.)
“I commend you for the plaque, (but) I am always pleasantly amused when I receive these acts of appreciation and gratitude, but the reality is that it is I who appreciate the opportunity to have this level of involvement. I thank you for thinking that I did something that deserves recognition, but it is I who want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this opportunity to evoke change in our society.
“We have an opportunity here to ensure that if history is accurately documented, it would show that – as a team – we would have been able to leave one or two footprints in the sand as we move towards greater equity, equality and protection for our girls and women, while also empowering our boys and men to a greater degree of consciousness, and so I just want to thank you again for welcoming me as a part of it and to the extent that I can, both personally and with the office that I hold, I assure you of my support,” Minister Campbell added.
By: Matt Maura
Header: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell (seated centre) with executives of the International Men’s Day Committee (IMDC) during a Working Meeting at the Ministry’s headquarters, Aventura Plaza. Also pictured (seated from left) are: Ethrice Cooper, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Human Resource Unit, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and (at far right); Keith Cox, President, IMDC. Pictured (standing from left) are IMDC executives Pastor Henry Higgins, Terence Bethel, Dr. Eric Fox and Henry Johnson, Male Programme Coordinator, Department of Gender and Family Affairs.
Insert: Keith Cox, President of the International Men’s Day Committee IMDC), presents Minister of Social Services, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, with a plaque in recognition of the establishment of a Male Desk at the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. The desk is headed by Henry Johnson, a CARCOM certified Gender-based Violence Expert, who serves as Male Programme Coordinator.
(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)