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Hanna-Martin: State Your Position on Marital Rape

Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin making an impassioned plea to fellow members of parliament on violence against women and girls.



NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin makes an impassioned plea to fellow members of parliament on violence against women and girls today. This as new Opposition leader Michael Pintard called for concrete action on the issue of marital rape.

Jasmin Brown reports.

The hotly debated topics of domestic violence and marital rape were raised by the Englerston Member of Parliament who addressed parliament moments after the House Speaker recognized the Zonta Club and its say no to violence campaign.

Hanna-Martin says the statistics are clear, noting The Bahamas has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the region.

Hanna-Martin said it is the responsibility of elected officials to commit to working to eliminate this problem.

She called on the men in parliament to state their position on marital rape legislation.

In late 2017, United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Simonovic said that The Bahamas is out of step with the UN’s convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women as it has failed to criminalize all forms of marital rape.

The Bahamas ratified the convention in October 1993.

Free National Movement (FNM) leader Michael Pintard also weighed in.

In 2018, during an appearance before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, then-Attorney General Carl Bethel said the government intended to criminalize marital rape.

A bill was drafted and circulated among community stakeholders but the Minnis administration made no movement on the issue before leaving office in September.

Prime Minister Philip Davis recently faced backlash after he said that the issue was not a priority for his administration.

He later tweeted that he believes marital rape is wrong and a national conversation is needed.