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Food habits reflect the plantation past: the typical diet contains a lot of starches, animal protein content that varies by location, and until recently, little in the way of green vegetables. Starches include various kinds of yams, dasheen, eddos, bananas and plantains, sweet potatoes, and breadfruit. Most of these are boiled, served with some kind of stewed fish or meat, and accompanied by a sauce.

Pepper capsicum sauce is always present at the table, as most dishes are not prepared spicy hot. Animal protein sources reflect the historical scarcity of this element: pork hocks, pig tail, chicken back, and saltfish cod have been staples. Imported processed foods have been available for decades, but more recently account for larger parts of many meals.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Ceremonial observances are occasions for celebration and lavish food and drink consumption. Celebrations usually mark rites of passage in the lives of Saint Lucians—christenings, first communions, confirmations, weddings, and funerals—while calendrical events are not especially marked. A first communion celebration, for example, usually includes a significant outlay in food and drink for guests, who come from around the island.

Hosts try to serve prestigious drinks—whiskey, brandy, gin, rum—and a sumptuous meal centered on meat—chicken for the poorest and as much as a side of beef for the more affluent. Everyone in attendance must leave satisfied, and one never can be sure how many might stop in. Basic Economy. Throughout Saint Lucia's colonial and post-colonial history, agricultural production has been export-oriented.

More than some of its neighbors, Saint Lucia has undergone a series of booms and busts. Agricultural production under colonial rule focused on sugar cane, only giving way to bananas as a principal cash crop in the s. Cane was grown under a number of systems—plantation, sharecropping metayage , and smallholder—reflecting changing market conditions and capital investment over time.

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The shift to bananas opened up the market for large numbers of rural small producers, and ushered in an era of prosperity that lasted from to the early s. The focus on commercial export-driven production has meant that agriculture for local consumption has suffered. Research and development of locally consumed foodstuffs has received scant attention, credit facilities for food production have been non-existent, and storage and preservation of local foods has never been on the agenda of economic planners.

One recent consequence of this bias has been that imported foods, mass-produced in countries like the United States, have often been cheaper for consumers than locally-produced alternatives. Land Tenure and Property. This is a tenure and transfer practice that exists outside the legal system, although it is partially supported by the old French legal system the Napoleonic Code which is still extant. Briefly, the principles of the system are these: land is held not individually, but communally by family members; transfer, when one dies intestate, is in undivided parcel to all descendants; sale is proscribed, that is, land is retained by the family; rights in land are inherited without legal division.

Family land exists alongside individual tenure and land transfers are often accomplished through wills. Commercial Activities. Much commercial activity is concerned with importing goods from industrial economies. Trading in locally produced goods is largely in foodstuffs. The Castries marketplace is a daily market established and regulated by government where vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are sold. The market also has an area where locally produced crafts and utility items are sold to tourists and local customers.


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Major Industries. Industrial growth during the last thirty years has been largely in the area of export processing plants producing garments, electronics assembly, paper products, and leather goods. These employ local labor but are often foreign-owned. Local industries are small-scale and involve food processing and craft production. In recent years the growth of tourism, mostly associated with the development of facilities in the Castries-Gros-Islet corridor, has overtaken banana production as the most important earner of foreign exchange.

Employment generation attributed to tourism has been significant, with more than twelve thousand full-time jobs in the industry. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has promoted tourist-oriented events, including a jazz festival featuring international and local talent. Trade, which in colonial times was dominated by exchange with Great Britain, has shifted to the United States, from which a variety of finished goods are imported, and Japan, which supplies motor vehicles and electronics.

By far the most important export is bananas, an economic mainstay for the past forty years. The market for Saint Lucian bananas is in the European Union, primarily Great Britain, and depends on preferential treatment. This trade is currently threatened by regulations imposed by the World Trade Organization. Division of Labor.

The division of labor is very much like that of any modernizing economy, with workers hired based on skills and education. Classes and Castes. Although in recent years a middle class has developed, the disparities between rich and poor are extreme. Rural prosperity based on banana cultivation is now seriously threatened. The growth of suburban areas around Castries is indicative of the economic primacy of the capital; village areas continue to be marked by poverty and substandard living conditions.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Race remains an important social marker, but it is probably of less consequence than in former times. Likewise, language English vs. Saint Lucia has a parliamentary system, constructed on a British model. Universal adult suffrage has been in place since , and by , Boats in a cove in Sonfiere. Many original settlements began as fishing villages.

The House of Assembly has seventeen elected members, with the majority party forming the government. The term of office is usually five years, but elections are occasionally called before this term elapses. A ministerial system is in place whereby a professional civil service is answerable to a Minister of Government, usually an elected member of the House. Leadership and Political Officials. Control of the government has shifted between two parties during the last half of the twentieth century. In the intervening years the UWP has led the government for all but seven years.

In , an SLP government was in place.

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Social Problems and Control. The legal system is mostly founded on British common law, with some continuing Napoleanic Code influence from the earlier French period. A professionally trained police force serves the island. Criminal activity has been on the rise in recent years; the presence of guns in the hands of a criminal element is increasingly troubling, and violent crimes that are gun- and drug-associated have multiplied. Saint Lucia, like many of its neighbors, has become a locale for drug transshipment, leading to the rise in crime.

Military Activity. The island currently has no standing army, but a unit of the Police Force is assigned to the Regional Security System Unit. At the national level, social welfare is divided between two government ministries: Health; and Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports. In the latter, the Department of Human Resource Development carries out skills and training programs, often in conjunction with nongovernmental organizations NGOs.

The Ministry of Health is more concerned with the care and welfare of the sick and the elderly, particularly the indigent population. A number of church-affiliated and private organizations also address social welfare concerns. Numerous civic organizations like Rotary and Lions clubs are present, along with many church-affiliated organizations. Older organizations like friendly societies, once found in all communities, have become less important in recent times. Development activities and training in this sphere are overseen by the National Research and Development Foundation, an NGO that receives government support and operates training programs for entrepreneurship.

Division of Labor by Gender. Although there is a patriarchal bias in the society, occupational differentiation has declined in recent times.

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Both men and women perform most agricultural labor, and the professional ranks are open to both. Some traditional occupations continue to be gender specific—fishing is a male activity, paid domestic labor is done by women. Assembly factories hire a mostly female workforce. The significantly greater success A market vendor examines onions in Castries. The market is regulated by the government. The Relative Status of Women and Men. Much has been made of the so-called "matrifocal" character of West Indian domestic life.

This is reflected in Saint Lucia, where men are frequently not dominant figures in households, or are absent. As more women are gainfully employed outside the home, and with the relative success of female schoolchildren, traditional male dominance in the society may be severely challenged. Marriage takes place between consenting adults, but is frequently not entered into until middle age. Other living or domestic arrangements often precede a legal marriage, especially within the lower class. These may include "friending," a visiting relationship that often results in childbirth and which may involve the performance of domestic services by the woman in return for a measure of financial contribution on the part of the man.

Another arrangement is a cohabitational relationship without benefit of legal marriage. This may be an enduring union eventually given the legal legitimacy of marriage; expectations of the partners and the enactment of the relationship parallel those of a legal union. The cohabitational union is usually not an option for the middle class, for whom the respectability conferred by a legal union is an important consideration. Relationships outside of marriage are commonplace for men, who may have "friending" alliances despite being in a cohabitational union.

When children are born of such unions, the man is expected to financially contribute to the care of the child, but among the poor these contributions are likely to be meager. The opportunity for women to engage in similar activity outside a cohabitational union is limited. Domestic Unit. Household composition evidences considerable variation. Although domestic units include everything from nuclear family groupings to three-generational households with no resident males, there are a large number of female-headed domestic units.

The incidence of these is often class-determined, much more commonplace among poor women than in the middle class. Males resident in such units may be transient. Kin Groups. The most important kin grouping is the family, which is defined both matrilineally and patrilineally. Family and residential groups often include extended family and others included though non-formal mechanisms. Other extensions include godparenthood, especially for the Roman Catholic majority.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are often fostered in the homes of relatives, especially grandparents. In part this is a function of the mobility of Saint Lucians, who have long migrated to work opportunities leaving dependent children behind. From an early age village and rural children have considerable freedom to explore their environment without much adult supervision.

With young girls this freedom is curtailed as they approach puberty, in the effort to avoid early pregnancies. Childless women are considered unfortunate, but they often acquire maternal status through customary fosterage or adoption. Children enter infant school at age five. At about eight years old, they move on to primary school. These two institutions are found in most communities and most are coeducational. For the majority of Saint Lucian children, formal schooling An elderly man weaves a fish trap from dried palm fronds.

Therefore, in line with the agreement made by ECLAC member-states at the 10th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, the CGA recommends the development of instruments such as timeuse surveys to measure unpaid work performed by women and men, in order to make such work visible, recognise its value, incorporate the results into the System of National Accounts, and thus inform the design of economic and social policies. The Barbados CGA examines labour force data since and finds little difference between the percentages of men and women defined as unemployed.

This population is vulnerable in part. In Belize, far more men are employed than women, at a rate of almost 2 to 1. Of a total labour force of , persons, 84, are males. The female unemployment rate far exceeds that of males: Participation in the labour market is also highly gender segregated in Belize, and the capital development areas targeted for the most extensive growth all highly favour male employment, with little entry of women into these sectors.

In general, women predominate in the lowest paid occupations; bear the higher burden of social reproduction including the care of children, the sick, elderly and disabled; while facing employment discrimination and unfair dismissals when pregnant. According to the Population Census, the labour force comprises 17, Additionally, of the labour force, 15, Youth unemployment is high, as Sex-stereotyping and occupational segregation in the labour market persists, as women comprise the majority in the administrative, technical and professional ranks of the public service and also in the nursing and teaching professions.

The Dominica CGA recommends various interventions to promote the equal participation of men and women in the labour force. Government and private sector employers should provide childcare and nursing facilities for working mothers. In the development of economic growth such as agri-business and eco-tourism, female entrepreneurs need to be targeted for support. Gendered occupational segregation is evident in Anguilla, Montserrat and St.

In Anguilla, men are overwhelmingly represented in labour categories impacted by declining outputs, particularly in the construction sector. And in St. According to the St. Lucia, the labour force increased from 67, persons in to 85, persons in , which comprises a higher percentage of males than females. Women are more likely to be unemployed — of a total unemployment rate of Lucia CGA reveals gendered occupational segregation in the labour force.

According to the CGA, the St. The CGA thus recommends that as per the ESDP and in tandem with the Labour Market Needs Assessment, the Ministry of Education and all relevant stakeholders should develop a secondary school curriculum which is oriented towards building workforce capacity in line with market needs and national priorities, and includes an assessment and instructional plan on Agriculture and Tourism. It is also critical for each country to examine their own statistical and other data, and put in place policies, strategies and programmes to address the specificities of their gender inequalities and gaps.

Gender-based violence is a complex social problem, which is underpinned by male-female power relations and socially constructed gender roles which position men and women unequally. Incidents of GBV often go unreported, and institutions such as the police and judiciary are. UN Women indicates that in some countries, this number is as high as 70 percent. It is also worth noting that because of sampling bias and difficulties in collecting information e. These numbers also do not account for non-physical forms of violence e. The Government of Barbados, led by the BGA, has made significant strides in strengthening legislation.

The Sexual Offences Amendment Act, CAP has, among other things, expanded the definition of rape beyond vaginal penetration to include insertion of objects, oral sex and anal sex; recognised that boys and men, and not just girls and women, can be sexually violated; and increased penalties for rape and other sexual offences.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment Bills have also been prepared. Incidents of GBV continue to be one of the gravest manifestations of gender inequality in Belize. During the six year period from to , over 1, incidents of domestic violence were reported annually, with 1, cases reported in National Women's Commission, Reported incidents of rape, indecent assault, unlawful carnal knowledge under-age sex , commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents are also notably high, and crimes of human trafficking and other violence against sex workers are also prevalent in the country.

While in many instances, institutional provisions have been established, such as the formation of a Sexual Offences Unit in the Police Force, and medical professionals responding to related health issues, their hours of work, hesitation to present evidence in Court, and inadequate forensic evidence gathering techniques are examples of significant gaps to effectively meeting the needs of victims and survivors. However, the Dominica National Council of Women DNCW operates a centre which provides limited shelter for women and their children experiencing domestic violence.

Reports stemming from the Protocol indicate that domestic violence, inclusive of intimate partner violence and sexual violence, represents the highest incidence of gender-based violence. In addition, incidences of sexual harassment, incest and rape are high, but often go unreported. In addition to the Protocol, the Government and civil society organisations have put in place legislation and mechanisms to address GBV: The Domestic Violence Act ; and the Criminal Code which addresses issues of femicide, Intimate Partner Violence IPV , sexual violence, and the trafficking of persons.

The DVU established a hour helpline for victims of domestic violence or persons requiring information, and provides support to the Cedars Home for Abused Women and their Children. The Montserrat CGA indicates that of the crimes documented by the Royal Police Service from to April , domestic violence was the most reported crime followed by assault. However, of the cases of domestic violence reported in this period, only 45 persons made applications for protection orders.

Cases before the high court took an exceedingly long time for justice to be delivered. However, the law caters only for family members and grants protection orders only to cohabitating couples, resulting in some victims being unprotected and deprived of the right to redress. The misuse of alcohol was seen as a catalyst for gender-based violence. However, reporting of domestic violence is said to be almost non-existent in Nevis because there is no opportunity for confidential reporting or the capacity to address this deficiency. There are no shelters for survivors of violence, but the Government has before it a proposal for such a facility.

Lucia, crimes concerning sexual violence against women are handled by the Vulnerable Persons Unit within the Royal St.


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  6. The Census indicated that households reported rapes in the month period prior to the Census,35 which included crimes that had not been reported to the Police. Further, the number of cases of rape, attempted rape and unlawful sexual connection reported to the RSLPF also increased from to With regard to domestic violence cases, the Family Court indicated that 5, domestic violence cases were brought before the courts between and However, even though Domestic Violence Law has been enacted, there exists no distinction in the definitions of violence against women in national law as distinct from intra-family, family or domestic violence.

    Among the BMCs, St. The CGA indicates that between and , 45 female homicides were recorded and 17 of these classified as domestic violence DV. Similarly in Montserrat, the Montserrat Royal Police Service reports that despite the high number of reported cases of domestic violence, very few protection order applications are made at the magistrate courts. Saint Lucia Housing and Population Census , p. Lucia Country Report Fourth Conference of States Parties.

    Lucia Star Since January to June , some cases have been reported. The analysis of these provides concrete information for the implementation of the anti GBV strategy with support of partners such as the CDB. Stakeholders regard this action to address GBV as a matter of high priority. In light of pertinent legislation which seeks to address GBV, the following legislative and institutional challenges related to addressing gender-based violence exist within the BMCs: i.

    2. St Lucia National and Social Development

    Inadequate police response, reporting, investigation and follow-up; ii. Lack of shelters and other victim support services such as counselling and other psychosocial services; iii. Lack of medical professionals who are specifically trained to respond to sexual violence; iv. Lack of rape kits and other forensic tools at the General Hospital and the infrequent use of photographs to document physical injuries; v.

    Inadequate legal protection for victims of GBV due to no or limited legal aid; and vi. The lack of understanding by women of their legal rights. Additionally, there is a need for increased public education on the nature and impact on GBV, and how persons can access support and redress. Gender sensitization is thus needed in order to support transformational change towards GBV and other forms of violence, and to transform traditional gender stereotypes, attitudes, behaviours and roles.

    The Anglophone Caribbean has produced four female Heads of Governments. This is followed by Dominica , where women comprise 5 out of 21 Members In both St. Lucia and Barbados , women comprise Lucia: 3 women out of 18 Members; and Barbados: 5 women out of 30 Members.

    However, the representation of women in the Lower House is particularly low for Belize , which comprises 6. Belize follows as women comprise Lucia , out of 11 Members in the Upper House, 3 or This is followed by Barbados , where out of 21 Members in its Upper House, 5 or In Dominica, out of 32 parliamentarians, 7 or The Dominica CGA thus observes that while Dominica was the first Anglophone Caribbean country to have a female Head of Government, there remain structural and attitudinal barriers to women achieving senior decision-making positions.

    Women, however, are increasingly entering local government as local councillors and chairpersons of local councils. For Dominica and all other BMCs, there has been no research to show whether women are making a difference with regard to gender-responsive decision-making in local government. In Belize, Montserrat, St. Presently, based on the February national elections, of the eleven 11 elected Parliamentarians and three 3 appointed persons making up the member National Assembly, there are two females Kitts, men hold a lower number of positions as Permanent Secretaries In Belize, there is a longstanding absence of a critical mass of women in ministerial positions.

    Belize also exhibits the lowest elected parliamentary representation of women in the Caribbean, at 6. As the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership CIWIL notes, women in Belize continue to remain marginalized from political participation because of a culture of exclusion, lack of community support, competing family responsibilities, and bias within political structures. In , 35 women contested municipal elections at various levels, with 11 taking office, revealing an increase in both female contenders and winners. The unicameral House of Assembly of St.

    In , Zenaida Moya became the first female mayor of Belize City, while Fern Gutierrez became the first female mayor of Peini in Opposition Senators. Currently, there are three 3 females in the House comprising As of , of the 18 members of the Lower House of Parliament, 16 In the Senate or Upper House, of 17 appointed members, 10 Low representation of women in Parliament is also evident in Barbados and St. There is an equal number of men and women as Permanent Secretaries However, the Barbados CGA indicates that efforts have been made to encourage greater female participation in decision-making positions.

    Lucia, women comprise only 3 out of 18 elected seats In an absence of gender quotas, the St. In Grenada, women have achieved one fifth of elected parliamentary seats since As of the February national elections, women comprise As of June , when research for the Montserrat CGA was conducted, there were 8 male parliamentarians compared to 1 female parliamentarian. Following the September elections, the territory presently has 4 female parliamentarians. Data on Boards and Commissions is provided for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the respective CGA.

    Offer gender-sensitive leadership training programmes for men and women including young people , who are preparing to assume or are in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors; iv. Promote shared family responsibilities between women and men to increase women's participation in public life; v. Political parties should: i. Review governance processes to identify and address impediments to internal party democracy; iii.

    Traditional cultural beliefs and socialization practices are manifested in the gendered segregation of subject choice in education, and sex stereotyping and occupational segregation in the labour force. While slowly changing, these views are still widely held, and according to the Montserrat CGA, have led to systemic occupational segregation which denies women and men opportunities for improved livelihoods. There is a growing body of literature, also reflected in advocacy and action globally, to increase the membership of women on Boards to increase transparency and financial accountability in corporate entities.

    In contrast, the Grenada CGA reminds that such a clear delineation of gender roles and stereotypes does not characterise the lived day-to-day practices of any society. In Grenada for example, cultural, social, economic and political changes that have taken place prior to and since the achievement of national independence, have begun to create the space for many men and women to transform traditional gender relations.

    The Dominican CGA supports this view. CGA research reveals that the Dominican experience includes men who are unable to find jobs to support their families and households; a high percentage of female-headed households comprised of women who are the main breadwinner; and men and women who have migrated and left behind children in the care of aging parents and other relatives. In Belize and Barbados, there is evidence of a significant impact of traditional value and belief systems. In Belize, for example, the faith-based community has called for the reinforcement of patriarchal-based household organisation, rigid definitions of male and female social roles, limited sexual and reproductive health rights, and the restriction of rights to gendered vulnerable populations, including sex works and men who have sex with men MSM.

    They have also called for the National Gender Policy to be repealed, and for General Elections to be called, further indicating the severity of their challenge to disrupting gender-responsive policies. In Anguilla, as in Belize, religion and the faith-based communities are fundamental to shaping values and norms, and consequently impact upon the perceived roles and responsibilities of men, women and children in society. The discourse of patriarchy thus persists in Anguilla.

    Therefore, while women have successfully led in household and community capacities, there is a broad belief that the sharing of leadership roles and responsibilities is beneficial, and men need to make a greater contribution to home and community life. Religion and the media are thus powerful institutions in shaping and influencing social and cultural attitudes and practices. As such, they also need to contribute to social change, including the ongoing reinterpretation of religious scriptures and practices so as to be more consistent with changing social and gender norms and the promotion of women to leadership positions.

    The media should also promote gender-responsive recruitment practices so as to counter the lack of women newsmakers, analysts and commentators. In addition, there is need for equitable reporting of men and women in political, economic, social and other spheres, and the gender-sensitive portrayal of women and girls. Public sensitization on issues of gender, culture and socialization — which should be led by national gender machineries with support from relevant Ministries and other stakeholders — are therefore necessary to raise self-awareness and positive social transformation with regard to issues including changing male-female roles, changing patterns of education and occupations, gender-based violence, leadership and decision-making.

    The CGAs of St. This frames the recurrent national and regional debates about boys. For many men, being seen as the male breadwinner is at the core of the construction of their masculinity. There is also the view that having the full responsibility for care restricts the ability of many women to seek opportunities for selfdevelopment outside the home, resulting in high levels of poverty among female-headed households. These concerns point to the necessity of engaging actively with civil society organisations in particular to address issues of masculinities and secure active male participation in transforming gender relations.

    However, the St. Anguilla is not yet party to CEDAW, but is in the process of reviewing constitutional, legislative and policy frameworks to ensure compliance. The Constitution of each BMC guarantees the protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons. The Constitution of Barbados, Section 11, states that fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual should apply regardless of sex. Chapter 1, Section 13 of the Constitution of Dominica prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, and guarantees equality and equal protection under the law.

    For example, Table 2 below sets out key pieces of legislation in the 10 BMCs which contain gender bias and require legislative reform. Through this unenforced legislation, no woman shall be employed or work during the night in any public or private industrial undertaking. The language further reveals a preliminary interrogation with gender issues, and the infancy in which the Ministry is exploring gender as a critical issue. With the transient nature of male labour, as discussed in the CGA, men are more likely to be negatively impacted by this provision, as they engage in cyclical periods of work in other countries.

    The Act does however allow for this excluded group to become eligible if they contribute to the Fund at the prevailing rate of contribution five years before retiring. This is currently in the form of a Bill, awaiting approval. The Bill importantly accords a series of protections to survivors of domestic violence. There is extensive social pressure to see the Bill affirmed, and the GoA has expressed continued committed to the realization of this aim in As such, common-law partners or un-married partners living separately are subject to social security exclusion.

    This Act does not recognise marital rape except under certain circumstances pertaining to the separation or dissolution of the marriage. Further, anti-buggery laws remain in effect. This Act does not cover the employment of women in domestic service. According to the CGA, this Bill was prepared some years ago but has not yet become law. However, this legislation should be amended to cover sexual harassment outside the workplace in a variety of institutional settings e.

    While this Act includes protection orders for victims of domestic violence, it is still lacking with regard to the area of policing. Presently, the BGA is leading a consultative process for the revision of the Act. One of the areas requiring reform is the extension of coverage for people in visiting or casual relationships. The Act has provided a mechanism through which many single mothers have been able to access financial support from fathers of their children.

    However, it creates a distinctive scheme of maintenance provision for children who are not born within marriage, and in practice there is unequal often better provision in terms of customer service and for children whose parents are divorced. It discriminates against men, since it can only be invoked by an unmarried mother. This Act criminalizes prostitution sex work , making the distinction of male solicitors eligible to be charged for living off or soliciting for prostitution, while females are specifically noted as the prostitutes.

    Being a prostitute is itself considered to be a Petty Offence. This Act makes provisions for the family of a recruited person, which seems to specifically apply to a male employee. It further provides for the special employment entitlements of year old males in evenings or night-times including to enable them to engage in apprenticeships or vocational training. This Act makes assumptions about the gender of perpetrators or victims of sexual assaults and abuse.

    The Medical Services Act further makes a man liable for the cost of maintaining a child not necessarily his in a hospital, mental hospital or certified institution, which appears to absolve the otherwise liable biological father, whilst — presumably — he remains liable for the same costs associated with his own children. This Act makes assumptions that the parent liable to pay child maintenance is the father, when in all other references in the Act there is gender-neutrality. This Act precludes a female but not a male child aged under 18 years from being entitled to receive a pension if she is married S 18 extends this to other eligible female children, viz.

    The Act further provides for a pension for a public officer who retires, except for a female officer who resigns due to marriage. These Acts deny a pension or maintenance to a female child if she is married. Moreover, the Act provides that a pension does not apply to, inter alia, a stepchild unless wholly or partly dependent upon him at the time of his death, which may diminish the obligation of the.

    These Acts make particular provisions for the employment of women which appear restrictive and do not apply to a male employee. This Act specifies the grounds for an application for separation by a married person, with the additional grounds available to a woman but not vice versa , including that he had sex with her knowing that he had a sexually transmitted infection STI , that he has been convicted of assault or aggravated assault, or that he has willfully neglected to reasonably provide for her and their children.

    The Evidence Act in addition to the Court of Appeal Act further refers to evidence by a spouse, but — given uncertainties in other legislation — may need to clarify the status of common-law spouses. This Act presumes that a female aged 16 years and over is capable of granting consent, but there seems to be no parallel presumption that a male aged under 16 years is incapable of granting consent. It also affords protections to females which should be extended to males, including: voiding the consent of a female child who is under 14 years; making an offence of the abduction of an unmarried female aged under 18 years, but not of an unmarried male; defining the rape victim as a female of any age; and.

    This Act makes a man responsible for the maintenance — where they are unable to maintain themselves — of his own children, whether or not living with him, all children of his wife who are living with her, whether or not he is the biological father, and the child of any of his own children. This seems to mean that this provision does not equally apply to the biological fathers of the latter two categories.

    Finally, this Act also makes better provisions for the collection of maintenance payments for a child born out of wedlock than they do for a child born to a married couple. While this legislation makes provisions for girls to return to school after they have given birth, it does not stipulate whether a pregnant teenager can continue if she is above the age of Chapter , Section 3 of this Act provides that every employer must enter into a labour contract with the employee, detailing the terms and conditions of employment not later than fourteen 14 days after assumption of employment.

    However, this Act excludes home assistants and agricultural workers from this provision because home assistants and agricultural workers, the majority of whom are women, are not represented by a labour union, and are unable to negotiate better wages and working conditions. While Chapter provides protection for all categories of workers, domestic workers are excluded from receiving redundancy pay as a result of termination on the grounds of redundancy. This Act regulates public service pensions, gratuities and other allowances. Where a public servant dies in the course of employment and leaves a widow and widower of female public servants if he was wholly or mainly dependent on the deceased at the time of her death and child ren , a pension will be provided for the child ren until they attain age However, a common-law spouse or partner is not considered as a beneficiary.

    While Chapter of the Act provides that men and women have responsibilities for maintaining each other and their children, administrative issues have affected the implementation of this Act, and new legislation has been drafted as part of the OECS Family Law Reform Project. While this Act defines rape as sexual intercourse without the consent of the other person or without believing that the other person has consented, marital rape is not an offence and homosexuality is criminalized.

    This Act addresses violence against men, women and children in the private sphere. However, the Act lacks proper implementation due a general understanding that domestic violence is largely a private matter. In addition, males reporting domestic violence are often subjected to ridicule by the police, family and community. This Act requires legislative reform because common-law spouses are not included in the class of persons entitled to share in the estate when a person dies without a will. These Acts were inherited from the colonial period and have not been updated since the attainment of national independence.

    Common-law or de facto spouses are treated differently by different laws. In order to qualify for these benefits, one has to be a currently or previously employed or self-employed person who has made contributions to the scheme and meets the criteria for the specific benefit. Common-law unions are also not recognised. Due to inadequate implementation, victims are left unprotected due to the absence of a specialized police response unit for acts of domestic violence and sexual violence, inadequate investigation by the police in these matters, a lack of medical professionals trained to deal with victims of sexual violence and rape, and the absence of State-provided legal aid.

    This legislation should be amended or enacted to comply with the principles of CEDAW, so as to legislate marital rape as a crime under sexual violence. This legislation should be amended or enacted so as to recognise all wives regardless of current marital status, as laws currently restrict the definition of dependant only to wives living with their husbands.

    This legislation should be amended to include family life education, non-expulsion of pregnant students, rehabilitation of students and criminalizing sexual harassment of students by teachers and other students. The law caters only for family members and grants protection orders only to cohabitating couples. A revision is required to include persons who are not related and couples who are not living together. Incorporation of family planning and sexual reproductive health education for young people into law. Legal recognition of common-law unions. Contributions by the state to expectant and unmarried mothers.

    Review of legislation regarding divorce. Christopher and Nevis St. Implementation of these Acts should address the issue of gender equality in and through education. Legislation which governs the treatment of sexual offenses should be amended to include issues related to forced prostitution, sexual harassment and sexual violence within a marriage or common-law union,47 and sexual harassment in the workplace, educational institutions, etc. Further, the recommendation of the NPRS regarding the mandatory prosecution of males who impregnate teenage girls needs to be addressed.

    The GoSKN does not recognise common-law unions, thereby problematizing property and maintenance rights in common-law unions. The need for such legislation requires urgent review. Kitts and Nevis: Analysis of the response of the Government of St. While this Act provides protection for victims of domestic abuse and molestation and grants magistrates of the Family Court the power to grant protection orders which prohibit abuse and molestation and which prohibits the abusive person from entering into the home, workplace or place of education of the victim; the Act provides no clear definition of violence against women based on gender.

    Support mechanisms also need to be put in place for victims from the reporting of the crime through the judicial process. The Criminal Code Chapter 3. However the issues of marital rape and harassment are not adequately addressed and their definitions need to be expanded. Housewives, whose work is in the home, are ineligible to receive these must needed benefits due to their inability to contribute to the NIS scheme. While offenses against the person, including femicide and abduction and kidnapping are covered here, the law does not offer protection against sexual harassment.

    Under this Act, girls as young as 15 and year old boys may marry. Further, marriage is the only legally recognised union, as common-law unions are only recognised under the Domestic Violence Summary Proceedings Act In this way, women who are in common-law relationships are discriminated against, for example, with regard to property rights and other benefits. Children born within and out of wedlock are entitled to provision up to the age of 16, regardless of sex.

    However, discrimination exists when applying a passport for a child under 16 years. However, the law does stipulate emergency prophylactic care and treatment, especially in cases of sexual violence, for victims who have sexually transmitted infections STIs including HIV. UN Population Division World Abortion Policies Thus, despite the constitutional provisions against discrimination based on sex, there are significant areas of legislation that require reform in all the BMCs.

    First, there is need to secure recognition of common-law unions for the protection of property and maintenance rights of persons who are in these unions. With regard to issues of custody and maintenance, the definition of custody needs to be addressed where applicable. Legislation against sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be put in place. Saint Lucia is wholly dependent on the banana industry, the future of which is uncertain. Until , when Europe became a single market, Geest, a British-based transshipment corporation, transported, distributed, and retailed all the bananas Saint Lucia produced.

    The European union resulted in the loss of Saint Lucia's ready-made market because Britain is no longer in a position to give preferential treatment to its former colonies. Saint Lucia's exceedingly low productivity level for the cultivation of bananas was not a concern prior to , but now the island's chief export must compete on the world market. The government has been seeking to diversify the island's agricultural activities. Tourism, the second-largest earner of foreign exchange , is an enclave industry that is still evolving.

    Although revenues from tourism have continued to increase, it, too, is a precarious industry. The vast majority of hotels and restaurants are foreign owned. Hurricane Allen caused heavy damage to the tourist infrastructure in Ranking third in contribution to the island's economy is the industrial sector.

    Small in scale, it includes about enterprises that produce furniture, clothing, paper products, electronic appliances, beverages, and textiles. Industrial Arts. Its purpose was to provide jobs for villagers and to preserve such traditional craft skills as pottery making, wood carving, and weaving.

    The chief exports include bananas, cardboard boxes, clothing, and coconut products. Approximately 40 percent of Saint Lucia's exports are to Great Britain, the remainder to neighboring islands and the United States. Food, live animals, and electronic parts are imported. Division of Labor. The division of labor is based on precepts of reciprocity, interdependency, and cooperation. At the village level, this ethos is best exemplified in the coupde-main, a type of organized work party into which an individual gathers friends and relatives to accomplish a labor-intensive task such as building a house or preparing a baptismal party.

    All members of the work party are fed by the host in exchange for their labor. At the household level, each member of the family, including children, is expected to work. Men and women toil side by side in the banana fields, but women are responsible for the bulk of domestic and child-care chores. Land Tenure. The land-tenure system is a legacy of colonialism. Almost 47 percent of Saint Lucia's agricultural holdings, or 13, hectares, are owned in estate by seventeen families, whereas about 4, smallholders till plots of land that average less than 0.

    Unless there is a specific arrangement regarding inheritance of land, all offspring are entitled to an equal share.

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    Because there rarely is a prearranged agreement and because multiple offspring often have claim to land, fragmentation of landholdings has occurred. Saint Lucians trace descent through both parents. The extended family, including fictive kin such as godparents and informal adoptive parents, also assumes an important role in social and economic interpersonal relations.

    Each union entails different degrees of stability, typically correlating with differing levels of economic obligation and commitment. Moreover, union types vary with the life cycle: visiting unions are most common during early adulthood, marital unions later on. Domestic Unit. Like the vast majority of West Indian societies, Saint Lucia is matrifocal; households are not only largely composed of women and their offspring, but women also assume a dominant role in the domestic domain.

    Although individuals in the upper stratum of society are likely to be found in households that approximate the European ideal of a nuclear family, for those in the lower stratum of society, the nuclear-family pattern is exceptional. Women are the primary socializing agents, although children are greatly valued by both men and women in Saint Lucian society. Children provide labor while they are young, and as adults they are expected to care for their aging parents.

    The concept of familial reciprocity is instilled in children at a very early age. Social Organization. Saint Lucia has long had a dual class structure: an elite class that controls the economic and political scene, and a poor, laboring class. A popularly expressed differentiation, analogous to the geo-spatial distinction between "town" people and "country" people see "Settlements" , is drawn between "high" people and "low" people.

    The former are typically associated with urbanity, a light skin hue, the English language , and "high" occupations — attorney, landowner, teacher — whereas the latter pertains to rural residence, darker skin hues, the Patwah language, and "low" occupations — manual labor and domestic service. In Lucian society, particularly among "low" people, there is a strong sense of community and sharing, which is achieved by cultivating an extensive social network. This ethos is perhaps best exemplified by " friendly societies " — voluntary associations established for extending mutual aid to members in times of financial need caused by illness or death in the family.

    Each member contributes monthly dues, and officers are expected to oversee the funds. In times of distress, members apply to the association for benefits. Operating at the individual level is the su-su, another type of revolving-credit association, in which individuals merge into small groups of about six.