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Fri 1st Sep 2017

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The plight of women in SVG

The Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, is very deeply concerned with the plight of women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are many incidents of violence against women in SVG and it should end now.

Recently, a woman was stabbed several times by a man in Richland Park - she died from the injuries. About two weeks ago, a woman in South Windward had petrol poured on her and was set on fire – she also died from her injuries.

Some year ago, a Canadian newspaper – The Star - headlined with the question ‘Is this Caribbean idyll the worst place in the world to be a woman?’ See http://bit.ly/2wJ9uJ0

This was because, even though SVG is one of the smallest countries in the world, it was in the top 10 of countries from which refugee claims to Canada were being made. The applications were nearly all women and one of the main reasons stated for the asylum application, was that the women were suffering domestic violence.

Even within the media in SVG, we regularly hear about incidents of brutal violence against women, where a man attacks a woman with a machete or gun or knife. The women in these incidents suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of the violent attack.

The country will never forget the horrific beheading of a young woman in Kingstown just over 10 years ago. There seems to be no end to these vicious attacks and it looks like the government do little about it.

In 2007, SVG had the third-highest rate of reported rapes per capita in the world, according to a United Nations report. The ULP regime has made SVG a dangerous place to be for many women.

The sister of Monique Clarke - the woman who was set alight, had severe burns to 85% of her body and then died - calls for action against domestic violence. Beverly Richards, the President of the National Council of Women, says ‘Speak Up – Support – Seek Help’.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA strongly believes that there are four main causes of the high level of domestic violence against women in SVG:

• The weak SVG economy is stoking domestic violence in our country and the weaker the economy, the higher the level of domestic violence;
• There is a poor education system and our people have not been equipped with the education and skills to use their own initiative to move forward and better their financial position;
• Many of our people exist in an extremely poor living environment and are under extensive pressure in squalor and dilapidation;
• The high level of unemployment and lack of ability to earn money is a factor in the high level of domestic violence.

All of these problems could be resolved if SVG had a government that taxed Taiwan and the super-rich, white migrants of Mustique and Canouan and imposed a windfall tax on Taiwan and the super-rich, white migrants of Mustique and Canouan for all the tax they have not paid over the past 30 years or more.

It is conservatively estimated that Taiwan owes SVG over EC$53 billion in fish tax and that the super-rich, white migrants of Mustique and Canouan owe SVG over EC$500 million in tax and customs duty exemptions.

According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal, domestic violence is likely to get much worse in SVG unless SVG cut ties with Taiwan and abolishes the evil Mustique Act No 48 OF 2002. SVG must collect taxes from Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan to end violence against women in SVG.

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