Stories of Girls’ Resistance


From Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean series documents 16 stories of resistance across the regions.

The history of girls and women being minimised to the sole roles of child-bearer, nurturer, keepers of the household, and caregiver is a direct result of colonialism’s impact on the development of gender roles and anti-Blackness in the English-speaking Caribbean.

This history was perpetuated by the elitism imposed through the British patriarchal system in the Caribbean, promoting the Eurocentric ideas about the inferiority of other non-white or non-Western races, as well as that women were inferior to men, and these formed the basis of racism and violence against the enslaved people within the region.

However, racism and violence did not end with slavery but developed into different forms of anti-Blackness, even amongst our peers, and in more recent times, forms of classism. These subtle structural and institutional challenges predetermine the socioeconomic situation of Blacks and are held in place by anti-Black ideologies.

These imposed expectations have stifled the personal and economic growth of Caribbean Black girls and women, leading them, in most instances, to be seen as the bottom tier of the patriarchal system and the most susceptible to violence in many forms.

The maintenance of traditional duties of the household and lack of financial stability and wellness being passed down from generation to generation, in addition to a societal structure that merely tolerates Black girls and women, means we still live in a society today that forces girls to leave school and forgo their education, be subjected to gender roles as dictated by the white man to restrict the development of wealth and wellness and has normalised violence in how girls and women exist and want to exist.

We live in a predominantly Black community yet more than 50% of the population is living in extreme poverty, and the family structures are so broken that more than 60% are single-parent homes primarily run by women, due to unemployment, underemployment and/or inherited debt, because of colonialism.

These stories showcase a bit of our history repeating itself today. To see a range of stories spanning across 2 and 3 generations, yet each having a combination of shared personal experiences of violence, in some form, during their girlhood and living in communities that specifically made them feel unprotected and undeserving.

Despite all that, I see hope. A Caribbean where, regardless of lived experiences, these girls and women, and many more, have triumphed, are thriving, and are using their power to resist the same structures that did not serve them well. Imagine pushing through despite being ineffectively and inadequately resourced to succeed.

There is still a need for greater representation at all levels of leadership. In a global world where 1 in 3 girls and women experience some form of violence, I remain optimistic that stories like these will aid in shifting the narrative that girls and women are inferior; build solidary among girls, women, and allies; and amplify the need for a safer and more productive region.



The Caribbean stories of resistance was curated by Alian Ollivierre-Skeete in partnership with Brittney Oriel Nadur, Cherisse Francis, Chelsea Fosteras story-collectors; Ashley Cox as weaver of story-summaries; Aphia Blugh and Keziah Taylor as poet and spoken word artists; and Elizabeth Barrera as graphic designer. The Caribbean stories of girls’ resistance was led by the Caribbean Girls’ Collective.