Caribbean women have performed a unique role inside politics, history and economy of the region for decades. The Caribbean women have been an integral part of nearly every political try out and encounter, such as slavery, independence, and colonialism, specifically in the English-speaking Caribbean. Recently, Caribbean women’s activism has shifted from the restricted regions of traditional women’s agencies, for instance, social gatherings and religious groups to a lot more effective areas of the politics, labor movement and employment. Throughout history, women within the Caribbean have taken part in massive scale organization and mobilization within the political organizations and labor movements. This paper will analyze the role of women in the development of Caribbean society.
It is important to know that during the 19th century 20th century, the main mode of transferring was solely based on "religious organization," including in Western Europe, for identifying the particular post-emancipation sexual split of labor, as well as for getting domestic and social organization for communities.” Several studies have shown that the social and religious organizations that women founded were “reputable by which women can openly take part outside the home, without worrying about questions or justifications to their partner or family members.” It is also important to know that the vital struggle of Caribbean women for the development of society to be outlined not simply within the framework of their reproductive jobs. Research has shown that even in situations where women were associated with social movements and politics, their contributions were supplementary as compared to their male counterparts. (Reddock, 1998)
This specific subordination became apparent to Caribbean activists throughout the 1960s with the introduction of the women’s movement globally. “The modern awareness seeping into the region reminded these older women activists about their minor place they still held inside the political firm of which they were associates as well as in the governments that their parties shaped.” Since these women identified the subjugation under which they have been around, they created what refers back to the ‘new women’s movement.’ This specific activism was centered on the structural restrictions and oppressive establishments within their particular island states. On the other hand, several of these women pushed this subordination by making use of liberal feminist justifications. It is apparent that within the 20th century, the Caribbean society appeared to be a liberal and democratic, whose actions and power interaction impacted the ways women’s social, political, personal and economic activities are identified and maintained." (Reddock, 1998)
Undoubtedly, throughout the Caribbean region, the government authorities have confirmed some acknowledgement for minimizing material and structural boundaries to women’s involvement within the economy along with social and political realms. This consists of the formation of women’s agencies inside the government and hiring more women on key government position. On the other hand, these adjustments haven't led to inherent attitudinal changes or maybe more just gender systems. The fluidness of the feminist movement in the Caribbean suggests the requirement for a platform that acknowledges the distinctive requirements, as well as background of Caribbean women along with their activism. While many Caribbean feminists historians have appreciated postmodernist feminist movement (Barriteau, 2003) a powerful argument can be created for employing womanism towards the discussion of Caribbean feminism,.
On the other hand, the concept of Womanism, that mainly focuses on the ‘daily activities acknowledge the role of women in the development of the Caribbean society. It suggests a model that is common to Caribbean women - using ‘daily activities’ and ‘every-day ways of problem fixing’ in day-to-day spaces, expanded to the issue of closing all types of subjugation for everybody." The importance of the women role in Caribbean society can also be understood by considering the activism of Caribbean women in history. It is evident that the women were involved in everyday activities, for instance childcare, maternal leave, as well as more secure working conditions. (Barriteau, 2003)
The second phenomenon by which we can understand the importance of the women role in Caribbean society and its development is their rejection to the power differentials. According to the Womainsts’s approach, the gross differentials within the resources and power are a real problem. The reason is that this results in the obstruction and dehumanization with regards to the collective and individual well-being.” This is especially crucial in Caribbean culture where strength is normally regarded as ‘male’ attribute. Moreover, in the Caribbean history, the women have rejected the power differentials, and challenged the issues like class difference, nationality and race, which are generally utilized as weapons of subordination within the Caribbean as well as among Caribbean women. The truth is that for Caribbean women, their difference in viewpoint and interest on different issues is not the main factor of their positioning and role within the Caribbean society. However, their unification and emphasize the key issues is the main leading factor that justified that the women role has truly shaped the Caribbean society. (H. Momsen, 1994)
Furthermore, another characteristic by which we can further analyze the importance of the women role in the development of Carribean society is their emphasis on communitarian. In Caribbean history, women strived for social transform along with “the strength and optimization of well-being for all people of the community." A major factor of this particular collective well-being could be the acknowledgement of the several attributes that comprise Caribbean culture. This means a society where nationality, ethnicity and race intersect. This is important simply because, in the Caribbean, the several women's organizations have been mostly considered as the domain of women with African customs, instead of as a place where women of various racial and cultural identities interact. Moreover, the role of the women in the development of the Caribbean society is also very much important as, they emphasis mainly on the collective well-being. Not only, this, but this single concept is also regarded as the main concept for Caribbean women where societal connections and extended families play a substantial role, identifies and promotes these attributes. (H. Momsen, 1994)
In a nutshell, we can say that through history, the women have shaped the Caribbean society in terms of its growth and development. The women involvements in several sectors of life indicate their will and determination to change the society and to overcome the pitfall of the dark side of the society. The role of women with the development of Caribbean society can’t be neglected as in history women have taken part is several activism organizations for the growth and progression of the Caribbean society. From a labor movement, politics and to the employment women, role is significant within the Caribbean society, and their role can’t be ignored.
Reddock, R. (1998). Women's organizations and movements in the commonwealth Caribbean: The response to global economic crisis in the 1980s.Feminist Review, (59), 57-73. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1395723
Barriteau, E. (2003). Theorizing the shift from "woman" to "gender" in Caribbean feminist discourse. (2nd ed., pp. 27-45). New York: McGraw-Hill.
H. Momsen, J. (1994). Women and change in the Caribbean. Journal of Political Ecology: Case Studies in History and Society, 1, Retrieved from http://jpe.library.arizona.edu/volume_1/morrisseyvol1.htm