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Human Rights Report: Gender-Based Violence A Significant Issue

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The U.S. Department of State report cites gender-based violence as a significant issue in The Bahamas. 





NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The U.S. Department of State report cites gender-based violence as a significant issue in The Bahamas. 

Concerns included the lack of legislation to criminalize marital rape and the lack of legal access to abortion.

The report reads, “The law criminalized rape of men and women; however spousal rape was not a crime.”

It also highlighted the lack of protection for the LGTBQI+ community.

The report also referred to the pending trial of North Abaco MP Kirk Cornish who is accused of raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

It reads, “In August, a sitting member of parliament was arraigned on charges of rape, assault, and threats of death. Senior government officials cited widespread gender-based violence. “

It also highlighted the recently passed Protection Against Violence bill which it says activists viewed as inadequate to effectively protect against gender-based violence.

The report also referenced alleged media reports of an 11-year-old girl who was impregnated by her mother’s boyfriend. The mother was charged with causing harm and abortion for allegedly providing abortion pills to her daughter.

To that the report says human rights activists argued that lack of legal abortion options was a public health crisis, adding family islands residents face barriers to assessing contraception.

Then there were concerns over the right of women to pass on their citizenship.

“Married Bahamian women could not confer citizenship to their children if the child was born outside of The Bahamas. Women were also unable to confer citizenship to their adopted children.” 

It also expresses concern over the government’s failure to implement contract and procurement laws effectively.

It reads, “There was limited enforcement of conflict-of-interest clauses and anti-corruption clauses in government contracts. Nepotism was reported. In November, a member of parliament serving as chairman of a government corporation resigned over allegations that he awarded a government contract to his daughter.”

The report is referring to North Eleuthera MP Sylvanus Petty who resigned as Water and Sewerage Chairman after it was revealed his daughter has a WSC contract valued $26,000.