Sunday 24 May, 2020

Single Father's Assoc: Men should access daycare and shelters too

Rhondall Feeles, President of the Single Father’s Association, is taking offence to the Minister of Finance’s definition of gender.

Responding to Minister Colm Imbert’s 2020 Budget Presentation in which he announced the establishment of daycare centres for children of female-headed households, Feeles said gender includes both men and women.

“When they make reference to gender they only speak in reference to women and children. They fail to realise that, despite all the things we highlight, men have gender-related issues. We have single father-led homes where the mothers have died, they don’t only come about through divorce or separation,” he said.

In his speech, Imbert also announced that shelters for women will be built across the country through the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

Feeles said there are no homes for single men and his association knows many cases of fathers who had to sleep on the street while their children were in a shelter. He said the Minister should have announced a shelter for families, as none currently exists. He said if a woman seeking shelter has a son, he would not be allowed into the facility.

Feeles said men are being discriminated when it comes to Public Assistance as well.

Describing a case of a father whose wife died and left him with seven children, he said the man cannot access public assistance because he is a man, even though the law itself is fair.

“The law is fair but because of our culture that says men are the head of the home, men are being denied. We have left children in squalor because they grew up with their fathers.

"I take offence by his pronouncements today because you cannot mention gender and leave out the male sex, it is a sexist and wrong thing to do,” he said.

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