The ideology of the battle of the sexes must be rejected when it comes to raising children. Fathers and mothers are both equally important and necessary in the lives of children. Children raised by both parents (married or unmarried) will always have a greater chance of a successful and happy adulthood.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, fathers and fatherhood have wrongly come under attack by some radical fourth-wave feminists in their war against ‘the patriarchy, masculinity and what they view as ‘problematic behaviour’.
There is no argument to be made for the small minority of fathers who are negligent and abusive to their families, but we as a society must accept that for too long, we have turned a blind eye to the abuses and injustices that many good fathers suffer.
Many of these abuses and injustices against willing fathers are allowed to occur because socially and legally when it comes to access to children, views, norms and opinions are skewed towards mothers.
I quote from an article titled “An Injustice Against Fathers”:
“Fathers do not need fanciful speeches filled with promises. Fathers need their issues of long adjournments, malicious prosecutions, denied access, malicious omission from the school registration form, and equal justice in these matters dealt with. Too many access and maintenance cases that should have been long solved by mediation are clogging the overburdened court system thanks to many attorneys who have failed to properly instruct their highly emotional clients.
Unfortunately, many non-threatening, supportive fathers are taken advantage of where the court system is used to extract funds and deny access as mothers flout access orders with callous impunity.
No father can help positively socialize a child every other Saturday or Sunday for four hours; that’s eight hours monthly which equates to 96 hours yearly or four days a year. The worrying absence of non-threatening, supportive fathers is shown in our crime statistics as, according to criminologists, many juvenile delinquents come from homes of absent fathers.”
(Barbados Today published May 13 2020)
Children who have a strong male role model in their lives will have a better chance of success. Women who weaponize child custody and access against willing fathers due to failed romantic relationships should be equally condemned as delinquent fathers.
Today I stand with all the willing and good fathers who have been victims of malicious prosecutions and denied access due to the unjust weaponization of child custody and access.
We as a society must stand by our fathers, we as a society must change the norms surrounding the idea that fathers are less nurturing than mothers.
Today I say to all willing and supportive fathers who have suffered abuses and injustices in their attempts to be part of their children’s lives, DO NOT GIVE UP!
I will always love my father dearly; you should love your father too.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
19th June 2022