ABSTRACT

Caribbean family life has been uniquely shaped by a logical heritage, the experience of slavery and colonialism, multi-racial and multicultural societies and by the socio-economic context of migration, unemployment and poverty. Early eighteenth- and nineteenth-century feminist thought occurred at a time when Caribbean women were still enslaved and seen as property of the plantation owner. As one of the poorest British territories in the Caribbean, during the 1930s Barbados experienced the lowest life expectancy in the region, highest child mortality and considerable unemployment. Between 1937 and 1966, women comprised the majority of Barbadian population and the majority of workers. The 1995–2010 period in Barbados saw improvements in living conditions with steady but moderate economic growth and a falling rate of unemployment. Family structures and practices have been impacted by the household composition, the financial circumstances and modernism.