Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PM states position on family and children

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Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has hit back at those who claim her Government is making decisions that undermine families or children.

Addressing Barbadians gathered for the unveiling of the Monument to the Barbadian Family in Heroes Square on Tuesday, she also vehemently rejected the idea that Barbados was being influenced by others in its decision-making.

“When I hear others spreading falsehoods about what this country represents and where it must go, I wait to determine how best we get back on a level playing field. The notion that we would do anything to denigrate the family in this country is so offensive that I wouldn’t even know how to address it properly.”

President of Barbados, The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason (right) in conversation with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

She also asserted, “The notion that we are here to dictate our children’s identity and gender is as preposterous as giving them the right to consent to sex as minors. It must be put to rest where it belongs – in the garbage heaps of this country.”

Children took part in the unveiling ceremony. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

Her comments come against recent criticism in some quarters of the country over Barbados signing on to the Samoa Agreement.

On November 15, The Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU) signed the Samoa Agreement which succeeds the Cotonou Agreement.

The Agreement covers six priority areas including democracy and human rights; sustainable economic growth and development; climate change; human and social development; peace and security; and migration and mobility. While it establishes an overarching framework for OACPS-EU relations, there are three regional protocols for Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific which focuses on the regions’ specific needs.

However, some people is of the view that the agreement is embedded with anti-family, pro-abortion, language.

Mottley sought to make it clear Barbados was a sovereign country and made its own decisions.

“We do not take tutelage from anyone as to who is and who is not the family. We do not take tutelage from anyone as to what matters in terms of our mission. If that which we have settled and we agree with others, then that is solidarity, but the notion that others shall determine our future by reasons simply by relationship outside of the bounds of this geography is preposterous and must equally be put one-side,” she said.

Some of those watching the unveiling from the Wickham-Lewis Boardwalk. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

Recently, Trinidad and Tobago’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon said that while the agreement was “written as a trade agreement and an agreement of support, financially etc. for the African Caribbean and Pacific nations, embedded in that agreement – and when it is signed it is for 20 years and cannot be revoked – …is that anyone who signs that agreement will have abortion legislation in their countries”.

“They will have to impose abortion legislation, transgender, LBGTQ, comprehensive sex education, a whole range of values will be imposed because of the signing of that document,” he argued.

The Prime Minister also encouraged Barbadians to continue to support young people so that they do not go astray, noting that this is needed now more than ever.

“I ask us today to continue that tradition because it’s only through solidarity and community and family that we can rise the best we can because as a small nation, we need everyone to move in the same direction,” she added.

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