Brac women face indirect discrimination

| 30/10/2014

(CNS): As government awaits a decision from the UK regarding the extension of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to the Cayman Islands, a report from the Sister Islands highlights lingering inequalities. Based on a meeting held in the Brac in June, the report found many common problems in the Sister Islands as those on Grand Cayman, indicating indirect, but worrying, discrimination against women. The report also revealed some specific issues on the smaller island that could fall foul of Article 6 of CEDAW concerning the trafficking of women.

The supplementary report to the National Conference on Women Report, organised bythe gender affairs ministry and published in May, was released this week and contains a snapshot of the issues faced by many woman on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

In particular, in reference to article six, which requires the suppression of female trafficking and exploitation of sex workers, a troubling trend was identified on the Brac of bar managers which could be interpreted as trafficking.

The meeting documented reports that bar owners were employing women on temporary work permits and intentionally having large turnover rates to prevent these young woman from getting into steady relationships and undermine their ability to attract and entice male customers. They were said to be manipulating the system and using women as sexual bait to lure male customers.

The high turnover of single, pretty female staff, who in bar promotions are scantily clad, reinforced the idea that women were being brought to the Brac in significant numbers to attract men to the bar with the suggestion that the women were ‘available’.

The law facilitates the acquisition of temporary permits and short employment periods. Managers don’t have to pay these female workers pensions, as the law says a worker can be employed for nine months before the emplyer needs to pay pension, and because the women are employed for short stints, most don’t take out health cover either, as the women are usually gone before the employers are caught.

Not only were these alleged practices seen as exploitation, the women are economic migrants and come to Cayman to work for money and fear reporting their employer and losing earning opportunities completely.

Violence against women was also a real concern and the police attitudes towards domestic violence were criticised, as well as the cultural acceptability among men that they have a right to hit women and still, in many cases, see the females in their lives as their property.

The report summarised some of the community-wide problems woman face. The need for much more public education and a heightened awareness of women’s rights was recognised and the need to empower women to stand up for those rights they now have in law.

But the meeting found that gender issues intersect with inequalities regarding race, class, age and national origin. The report said, “Gender issues cannot be viewed in isolation and mainstreaming a gender perspective throughout society will ensure these issues remain visible.”

Participants felt that as a society discrimination has been allowed to continue, holding back productivity, preventing social benefits and increased human development, as well as burdening government.

“Full participation of women on an equal basis with men in all areas of society will bring about positive change for the benefit of girls and women and also their families, employers, communities and society as a whole,” the report concluded.

See the report below.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In my honest opinion we should have those lovely words on the coat of arms changed to " he hath found it upon double standards " . Then and only then shall things seem " just right " here. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Long time I telling people that human trafficking going on in Cayman.  Long Time!!!  You have bar owners that go seek out girls in other countries and take them here hold on to their passports and basically slave them out.  Human Trafficking couple with racism (or anti nationalism which is discrimination) is extremely high here, just neatly disguised.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Brac has always-always- been a place of drunken males and females, sex starved of both sexes, children more sexualised than anywhere else on earth and lunatic anti-communists and bible bashers. Oh, and wierd people who wont eat eggs from black hens. Plus a population that relies on handouts from Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      you're just running on now…"children more sexualised than anywhere else on earth"? "sex starved"?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Gender Affairs Ministry publishes a similiar report on its finding here in Grand Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Legalize the punanee….and the weed too!

    Stop using archaic right wing religious non-sense as the basis for laws.

    Prostitution and mood altering substances will ALWAYS be around! And weed/marijuana is as safe as we're gonna get….certainly a lot safer than the copious amounts of alcohol consumed….even on sundays. 

    Una stop the assinine hypocrisy! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    prostitution in the caribbean?????….never!

  7. MEN IN BLACK says:

    After reading much of the below comments, and sadely the article/piece above as well, one would wonder exactly where the issue is.

    Pardon me, in fact excuse me and I sincerely apologize, but I do not see the issue whatsoever.

    The policy a bar owner has and the marketing they utilize is frankly smart. That's the best protection one can have.  Pretty much on par with a non-compete agreement and "hand book" laws, reulations and policies that any sound business would try to implement.  Think of it from a business stand point.

    If a young lady comes to the islands for work, knowing that her sexiness is her tool or skill or asset if you may, to help her family or better her mains of life, then that is her decision.  Not yours or mine.  If she has no means- that being no education or opportunity to support otherwise, what should she do? That's right – go to the government like Caymanians.  Let those who work their tails off support them.  

    Truthfully, the sexy girls at the bars drive a lucrative business and plays it's part  in the over all micro economy of the country- especially the struggling Brac and little.

    It would be totally  insane to call it discrimination!

    • Anonymous says:

      Pardon me but we're not talking sexy girls going to work, every day for a few years as a respected waitress, singer, bar tender etc. contributing to their community and making a live there. We're talking about sexy girls, being flown into the Sister Islands, for no more than 3 months to fulfill a job as an unrespected individual who is to be passed around and then taken out of "rotation".

      I don't have a problem with people doing what they want with their own bodies. IF they know the rules before they play the game. I suspect the girls may not know before the play the game. Maybe they do know the rules? But this type of "wage earning", it is illegal in Cayman.

      Say it out loud: Prostitution, brothels, gambling and what have you are ILLEGAL in the Cayman Islands.

      It feels like the Cayman Islands are based on loop holes, technicalities and people looking the other way for "Big Man".  Stories like these just throw more examples to the world what kind of people live here.  CaymanUNKIND all the Time.

  8. Anonyanmous says:

    Hon members this Bar Maid trafficking on the Brac is horrible, I ask you what would Jesus do?

  9. Anonyanmous says:

    This would make a good story for 60 Minutes, 20/20 Investigative Journalism, Dateline News stories, CNN, BBC news, http://www.endslaveryandtrafficking.org.  We in this country need to stop being hyprocrites and living lives of sin from Monday to Saturday and running to church on Sundays.  The world need to see the moral decline of what was once considered Paradise and it  now Paradise Lost Forever because of human greed.  I am so very angry to know that this kind of activities are happening in this country, thank you CNS for being brave enough to open the eyes of the public on this.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What will the Business and Professional Womens Club and the Gender Affairs (aka Womens Affairs) Ministry say when THEY allow these bar ladies to stay longer and their husbands or boyfriends are taken in by the bar ladies?

     

    What will they say then?

  11. Concerned 1 says:

    HUMMM!!

    Using pretty women to attract male customers? sounds like cutting edge advertising to me! Is this not what happens the world orver? I have never been to a bar anywhere in the world where there is not attractive women pretending to be single.

    I get it. Its Friday and we are running out of good stories. Nice Holloween prank!

  12. Panwix says:

    I say legalize Prostitution and protect the ladies on the road, and there are ladies on the road in GT. Just need to know where to go.

    Houses of ill-repute could be a boom for tourism.

  13. Anonyanmous says:

    Goodness what is happening in these islands we have sold out and become just another banana republic going to the bottom of the tandum pole. We seem to be sanctioning slavery at all levels, slave wages, purveyors of "white slavery" (aka prostitution) official corruption and the training ground for up and coming robbers and every other crime that was unimaginable here ten years ago.  I say it now and I will say it again if we continue to ignore these issues things will be unbearable within the next six months or only God will be able to stop it then.

    • Anonymous says:

      With the greatest repsect to our maker, he subcontracted the job to us down here to sort out. Once again the rectification of these evils is going to be down to good parenting, good education, good laws, an efficient RCIPs, efficent and competent prosecutions and judges.

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF is a tandum pole????????

  14. justafact says:

    In reading some of the above comments, its clear that people are targeting the local bars only. What needs to be done is a survey of west bay road estabishents and the hotels also. We all know that some staff (women and men) are taken advantage of, and it not only in the local bars. As for not taking an STD/HIV test, the above (and another problem) is 100% wrong, its a fact that all women that work in Cayman Brac local bars HAVE TO TAKE  a medical within 7 days of arrival. Should anyone have a question on that please feel free to call the immigration board secretary on 9482222.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree with the first part because a lot of bartenders in Grand Cayman especially at the hotels are male.  They don't need to hire a bartender for looks as they have a captive audience: their room occupants.

    • Anonymous says:

      If all women working in Bars in Cayman Brac are being required to have medicals within 7 days of arrival, even on a 3 month work permit, then immigration may be breaking the Law. Temporary work permit applicants are exempt from medicals.

      • Anonymous says:

        They don't have a full medical.  They have to do a blood test only. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Which infers that the authorities know what is happening and are actually assisting.

    • Veritaser says:

      "Survey"? No, no my friend, what is required is an investigation. Prostitution is against the law. That is why we have the RCIP and the Enforcement arm of Immigration. If only they understood their role in securing a civil society.

       

  15. Anonymous says:

    Prostitution and human trafficking are not the same thing. There is no human trafficking in the Brac.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am also made to understand that the prices can be upward of $1000 per session too. And some very high powered white collared workers are known to traverse over to the Brac for overnight "meetings". Go figure!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Religion is the foundation of women discrimination.

  18. Anonymous says:

    One bar owner even has a sign there saying that if any of the girls are found to be with a married man or a male that he will fire them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sex slaves? Really? But they earn money for their hair appointments and get new cellphones. That's what they want.

  20. Anonymous says:

    In the Brac you also have a certain bar owner that has to "test drive" these wormen before they are permitted to have other "clients". But the government powers that be who were concerned with this and try to keep employers doing the right thing is put on "required leave". Cayman Brac is just like the old "outback corral" and they can do as and what they please as employers are above the law.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What about the female govt employees of the Brac? Did any voice their concerns? I know that the glass ceiling is very low at District Admin but I’m sure the hard working ladies there are too intimidated to talk. Smart, hardworking women are held down there because management has an issue with females holding positions of authority. How sad!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Another problem with the temporary work permits is that these women don't have to undergo STD testing, such as those on full work permits. You also need to check and see if you can get a bar manager to be honest with you about how much of a cut he gets every time one of these bar maids gets money to have sex.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What would they say if HOOTERS had a place there?!! Give me a break, this is crap.

    Considring that Juju is Queen of the Brac, maybe she should offer her insight as to how this supposed came to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      14:50, we almost had a Hooters in Grand Cayman at the Flagship Building on Fort St.

      Of course Elmslie put a stop to that getting through planning.

  24. Anonyanmous says:

    Don't worry young women karma is not a good thing.  Karma got a hold of one such man and turned him into a puddy kat…. read here.

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2012-10-04/news/tony-galeota-from-running-porky-s-miami-s-most-notorious-strip-joint-to-rotting-in-a-panamanian-jail/

  25. Cayo Cochino says:

    By all accounts these three little islands have more Honduran "barmaids" (aka sex slaves) per capita than………Honduras.

    But tread carefully. Anyone highlighting this dirty little open secret will be treading on powerful toes.

    Shhhhh………….

     

     

    • Papi Chulo says:

      I wonder how many of the powerful folks in government and high society know they share the same girlfriend with the average guy at mango tree, country, dump rd, on the Brac? The difference is they are responsible for rent and dinero to pay por the hair, nails and dinero por the sick mama and ninos back home. Karma is a helluva ting eh?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said 13:03 and 16:48. THANK YOU!

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn't there a favorite hangout of the current administration not far from the Lions Center which is renowned for the friendliness of its Hispanic female staff? At a price, of course….

    • Anonymous says:

      yes but soon those powerful toes will have to go to court for his DUI last christmas

       Perhaps he will loose his power to decide whom is allowed to stay and whom must go back  

      Karma is a woman

  26. And it just keeps getting better.. says:

    And the latest dirty secret of the Cayman Islands to be exposed.  The list just goes on and on…and yet we still insist on bragging that we are the sparkling jewel of the Caribbean? 

    The Cayman Islands are no better than any other third world country in terms of crime, offenses against human rights, discrimination, domestic abuse, homophobia, government corruption and scandal. 

    The only difference is that for many many many years we had plenty of money to cover up our dirt, sweep it under the carpet and pretend that we were better than everyone else.  The situation in the Brac has been going on for YEARS, with the veryelected MLA's and politicians promoting and sampling the 'goods' at the bars in the Brac. 

    Guess what?  Not any more.  Cayman is not what it used to be.  Read our headlines/news stories for the past few years and Grand Cayman is a joke. 

    Things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.  There's going to have to be a huge cultural and mindset change for things to improve here. 

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I can remember, when I was growing up, specific nationalities were not allowed/encouraged to visit these islands.  Now they are here and doing what they want to do.  Reduce the numbers, limit the permits, and finally refuse their permits.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, thats really going to solve the worlds oldest profession. Legalise, protect and tax. If there ws no demand, there would be no "service". However men are men and frequently either stupid or have needs that they cannot control or get at home.

      • Anonymous says:

        your stupid i bet you preferred incest

  27. Anonymous says:

    Only reason I cam here was because I thought sex discrimination was compulsory. Never mind, there is always Pakistan…