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The University of the West Indies

at Cave Hill, Barbados

Human Rights, Sexual Equality and Youth (HRSEY)


In July 2014, IGDS: NBU commenced the implementation of the Human Rights, Sexual Equality and Youth (HRSEY) participatory action project.
This three-pronged initiative will: (a) assess the vulnerabilities of LGBTQ youth to violence, discrimination, and victimization, (b) seek to remove barriers to LGBTQ youth’s access to necessary services by engaging in advocacy among social care providers and other key resource persons and (c) conduct a thorough review of Barbados’ laws and legal agreements that clarifies the nation’s human rights obligations and promotion of sexual equality. This project builds on the recently completed pilot study titled: "Education and Teen Sexuality in Barbados: A Gender Perspective" completed in 2012.
A significant portion of the project's data was collected at the Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference in 2014. Investigators from the IGDS: NBU used the lived experiences interviewing tool to gather data from 28 women representing 11 countries across the region: Trinidad, Dominica, Suriname, St Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Croix, Guyana, St Martin and Barbados. Using a mixed methods methodology, qualitative data was collected through three focus groups and individual guided narratives, as well as a written survey instrument. The data collected focussed on safe spaces, support systems, multiple forms of violence that LBT women experience.
HRSEY has also established partnerships with key actors who provide input and feedback at all major stages of the project.
Under this project, the “Capturing the Experiences and Knowledge of Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LBT) Women Across the Caribbean” report was also completed as a major output of the project. The report includes rich narratives from LBT women as they negotiate relationships and deal with prejudice, discrimination and/or violence in the community, family, church, law, healthcare and employment. Read the report here.

 

Quotes

" Feminists must position themselves within a space that questions the compulsory heterosexuality promoted by Church and nation-state, which undermines economic and social gains women have made. We must question the extent to which gains that women have made exist within a heterosexist matrix in which women's sexed bodies are used and reused. Finally, we must ask whether the fight should be for equality between genders, or for a destruction of sexual and gender categories all together. The women's movement in the Caribbean must question whether or not the rights they hold so dear, are rights that actually maintain and reinforce colonial constructions of woman and man."
When the Closet is a Region- Homophobia, Heterosexism and Nationalism in the Caribbean, Tara Atluri

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Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit
Telephone: (246) 417-4490-93 Fax: (246) 424-3822 Email: gender@cavehill.uwi.edu