JAMAICA — March 8, 2020 is International Women's Day, and gender activists in Trinidad and Jamaica are calling on women around the Caribbean to abstain from sexual intercourse with their male partners until the aforementioned date to raise awareness of violence against women, while soliciting male support in the ongoing battle for female respect.
The movement took hold after Trinidad and Tobago writer and gender advocate Nazma Muller, took to her social media platforms urging women to "starve men into submission and put women's rights on the font burner," the Jamaica Gleaner reported.
Ms. Muller told the Gleaner that Caribbean women should protest the ideology that women were property, contending that "men will never miss the water until the well runs dry."
"They will begin to value us and our capacity to produce life if we doh let off none. Lock shop and reflect on what this thing is doing to us and to the future. I am saying to my sisters across the Caribbean, let us really consider and appreciate this thing we have and the case of how it is used," Ms. Muller said. “We really have to take back our p**p** and put value on it."
According to the Gleaner, since the start of the year, there have been at least four cases of fatal domestic violence against women in Trinidad, the latest being a murder-suicide on Monday in the town of Couva. Twenty women were murdered by their partners between November 2018 and December 2019. As a result, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service recently launched a Gender-Based Violence Unit to address reports of domestic and intimate-partner violence, sexual assault, among other gender-based crimes, the publication said.
Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, university director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, at The University of the West Indies, Mona, said she would strongly advocate for Jamaican women to also ‘lock shop’ in protest of gender-based violence here, said the publication.
Acknowledging that women have used sexual power for personal benefit and sway in their relationships for ages, Palmer Adisa said it was time for women to collectively challenge patriarchal values of entitlement.
“Jamaica definitely needs a strike, and I think that women have more power than they exercise. If women were so organised and all women took this on as their issue and we say nothing, nobody getting anything, including those who are behaving themselves, then that would have some impact,” Palmer Adisa said.
The advocacy comes amid national outrage over a slew of killings of women, including the New Year’s Eve slaying of a Manchester woman by her supervisor partner, the murder-suicide by a Jamaica Defence Force corporal in Portmore, and a savage knife homicide in the quiet St Elizabeth district of Brinkley, presumably by an estranged lover, the Gleaner said.