Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Bus conductor refuses to transport woman to family court

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 3:39 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

A woman, seemingly in her mid 30s, holding a baby, was this afternoon barred from entering a coaster passenger bus in Papine, St. Andrew after indicating that her destination would be the Family Court in Kingston.

All seemed well until the woman asked whether the bus would be passing the court.

The conductor said yes but used his hands to bar the woman from entering.

"Mi nah mek you go lock up no man. Mi nah carry you!" he insisted.

One passenger then offered to give the woman his seat and people in the park pleaded for the woman to be allowed to board the bus but the conductor was unmoved.

Minutes later, the bus left the stop with several passengers arguing with the conductor over his stance.

Meanwhile, gender activist, Judith Wedderburn, is reacting with shock at what she called the disturbing report.

"Unfortunately, the conductor made an assumption which may or may not have been correct. But the principle that he should even think he has the right to bar her from entering the bus for that reason tells us how much work we have to do," Wedderburn said.

"If she were going to the family court to pursue a case against the child’s father, that’s her right and we have to help young men take responsibility for their actions. The implications from this are huge," said Wedderburn.

Another gender activist and member of the 51% Coalition, said while the woman’s reasons were not clear, the treatment towards her demonstrated "the culture of disdain" for women who go to the Family Court.

"It’s almost as if a woman is looked down on... automatically seen as evil if a woman dares to try to get support through the family court," said Nadeen Spence.

She said the reactions were similar to former beauty queen Yendi Phillipps, who recently filed for full custody of her child with dancehall entertainer, Daniel ‘Chino’ McGregor.

"Yendi came from a different socio-economic background but met the same disdain. People were not asking whether it was true the man was taking care of his child. Focus was on whether Yendi was causing trouble," said Spence.

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