Cape Verde is a rising star among lesser developed third world countries. As the country grows via local and foreign investments, especially in tourism, the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and the related issue of domestic abuse and violence towards women, all of its citizens should be able to fully participate in the uplifting of the country.
There are several key impacts that the men of Cape Verde must consider:
- Cape Verde will never achieve its true potential if its female citizens cannot achieve their maximum potential in the workplace for fear of harassment or reprisals from co-workers or superiors. It has been demonstrated through careful study in first world countries that the cost to the bottom lines of businesses is substantial. Multiply this effect across hundreds of businesses and the additive impact on the economy is unmistakable. It results is a lower standard of living for everyone including the men.
- Cape Verdean men will begin to encounter more international women in the work place as the country grows. Women coming to Cape Verde from foreign countries are less likely to tolerate such boorish behavior in the workplace and will stand up for their right to work without fear of molestation or sexual intimidation. Men might be more likely to lose their jobs when women put their foot down, especially where international female workers are brought in for skills that are not readily found in Cape Verde.
- Cape Verdean men are in danger of losing their women! I've heard from many Cape Verdean women that they feel more respected and appreciated by foreign men and often end up in long term relationships and marriages with foreigners. Some men may claim that its because the women view a foreigner as a ticket out of Cape Verde. But the reality is that, while there may be some truth to that sentiment, there are many more women who would rather stay in their beautiful island homeland with a partner or spouse who treats them right.
It all comes down to respect. It is not just about the external beauty - and there is no denying that Cape Verdean women are among the most beautiful in the world - but women want to be respected for what's inside - their inner beauty, their talents and their potential. I think that is probably true for all women regardless of what country they happen to call home. And it doesn't make a man any less a man by following through on this request. In fact, I would say it makes you more worthy of being called a man.
So my Cape Verdean brothers, pay close attention. Think about how you would want your mothers, sisters and daughters to be treated in the workplace and in their homes ... then "man up" and practice what you preach.
I'd be interested in comments from both men and women of all countries reading this blog. Don't hesitate to add your two cents worth.