Artists of the Caribbean are putting “their voices, pens and personalities” together in a call to stamp out violence against women.
Speaking at the launch of a two-day workshop, sponsored by UNIFEM at UN House, regional program director Roberta Clarke explained that, according to a World Bank study, the Caribbean has a higher incidence of rape than the global average. She pointed out that one of three women experience violence in personal relationships. Clarke added that when men live in a culture that promotes a brand of masculinity that values men controlling their property, they are more likely to be violent towards women.
Representatives from the entertainment world arrived from Trinidad, Dominica, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and St. Kitts to join their Bajan counterparts in speaking against violence.
Singers Terencia “TC” Coward, Natalee Burke, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Destra Garcia spoke about the lewd lyrics sometimes used by calypsonians, reggae, or dub artists, but stressed that radio program directors should also be held accountable. Commending the efforts of UNIFEM in hosting the Caribbean Artistes Unite to End Violence against Women Consultation, Burke suggested that the message be given to young girls as well as women.
Other participating artists included Allison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood, and ‘Mikey’ Mercer from Barbados, Nelly Star of Dominica, Masud Sadiki of St. Kitts, Nicole David of St. Lucia, Kiokya Cruickshank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Patrice Roberts and Brian Morris from Trinidad and Tobago.
Wyclef Jean, David Rudder and Machel Montano are also among artistes who have given a commitment to work with the project. So far, everyone agreed that artists should take an active role in writing responsible lyrics to denounce violence against women and to promote equity.
Photo of Terencia Coward from http://bajanfuhlife.com/Music/Artist%20Profiles/TCoward.htm