Kaieteur News – August 10, 2005
The other day I was waiting in a room and this lady looked at me and sneeringly told me about something a person of Asian descent had once done that was improper. She snarled her faced together and said, “It was the Chinese.”
The tone of her comment, her facial expression and the attitude that provoke this statement was nauseating. I walked away and asked my companion why people have to be that way. Racism is rampant in Guyana on all fronts, that much is true. However, there is another type of bias that is just as prevalent but gets very little attention – it is called misogyny.
Misogyny, or the hatred of women, is so embedded into our society that even most women have come to accept it as normal. But there is nothing “normal” about hate. Whether toward another race, another nationality or another gender – hate is always wrong.
Misogyny is evident even in our court system. The rape statistics recently released are atrocious alone. However, what is far more appalling is the number of convictions that DON’T put those thieves behind bars. I say thieves because these men steal something from women that can never be replaced – a woman’s peace of mind and her right to consent. It is a violation of the most heinous proportions. (more…)
Stabroek News – August 9, 2005
Amid the saturation of national life by crime and politics it is easy to forget or overlook noble efforts by the non-governmental segments of society to promote positive change or to shine a light on serious problems.
There were two recent examples that are worthy of recognition and further examination. The first is the report compiled by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) on rape cases entitled `Without Conviction: Sexual Violence Cases in the Guyana Justice System’. Contained within the report is the startling revelation that there have been only nine convictions out of the 647 rape reports made to the police in the last five years. Only three per cent of the cases went to trial during that time.
The GHRA said that the study was done to raise public awareness of the low level of legal and judicial protection from sexual violence available to women. The statistics were gleaned from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Guyana Police Force and the High Court Registry in Demerara and the sub-registry in Berbice. (more…)
United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (08/07/2005)
689th & 690th Meetings (AM & PM)
WOMEN’S ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE TAKES UP GUYANA’S PERIODIC REPORT;
STRENGTHENING GENDER EQUALITY BODIES, COMBATING VIOLENCE AMONG ISSUES
Stabroek News Editorial – August 6th 2005
A report in this newspaper two Sundays ago revealed that close to 100 females, mostly teenagers had been sexually assaulted for the year so far. Statistics garnered from all of the magisterial districts in the country only accounted for 50 reported cases, about half of the total. It was an interview with outgoing Chief Probation and Family Welfare Officer, Ann Greene that hinted at the real figure. Referring to the cases which her department had seen, Greene noted that the 50 would be doubled if all the women made reports. But she also noted that there would be cases that did not even reach her department, and therefore the figure could well be higher.
The statistics seemed to indicate that Georgetown had the highest prevalence of rape, when compared with other districts. But this may not be the case. Georgetown may just have the highest reporting figure. And it may also be the case that the figure in Georgetown is better known because it offers more in terms of services. (more…)