Women's Issues In Guyana


Ministry of Labour re-launches women’s magazine

Posted in Activism,Gender Equality by wiig on September 30, 2005
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Kaieteur News – September 30, 2005

The Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security yesterday re-launched its quarterly newsletter during a simple ceremony at their Documentation Centre for Gender and Development.

The magazine ‘Woman Powah’- promoting gender and development – includes an insight into Justice Desiree Bernard’s appointment to the Caribbean Court of Justice and her views on Gender Equity, a feature called ‘Walking in My Mother’s Footsteps’ by Dr. Joycelin Massiah on the impact of her late mother, Olga Byrne, on her life and work.

In an address at the re-launching, Minister Bibi Shadick said she was heartened by the reappearance of ‘Woman Powah’, and hopes that there would be no recurrence of such a situation.

The Minister also stated that ‘Woman Powah’ has a role to play in keeping women informed, and by so doing creating that awareness which is required for moving Guyana towards its goal of gender equity.

Minister Shadick says… 
Cases of children marrying mature men startling

– perpetrators to be charged

Kaieteur News – September 30, 2005

Minister of Human Services and Social Security Bibi Shadick has expressed outrage at cases that have come to her Ministry of older men marrying school-girls with the consent of parents, who receive monthly payments for this arrangement.

The minister described this arrangement and human trafficking as annoying unacceptable trends.

“…We had to rescue the child who was married to a 73-year-old man…the judge has awarded the Ministry custody, so we are now responsible for sending her to school since she fears returning home to the same situation,” Minister Shadick said yesterday.

She stated that there was another instance of a child-marriage in Port Kaituma.

“We have found that these parents are collecting monetary payment in exchange for their children. I can’t understand that…and we don’t know how many cases exist,” Minister Shadick said. (more…)

When will we put our feet down on domestic violence? 


Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on September 27, 2005
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Guyana Chronicle – September 27, 2005

Dear Editor,

I read in last Saturday’s Kaieteur News with sympathy of the death of an Essequibian mother of two, who has been suspected a victim of domestic violence.

It is sad to learn of these situations but the issue that continues to be of more trauma is the manner in which these cases are being dealt with by the Police and those in the judicial system.

Many times women are battered to death by either their spouses, reputed husbands or boyfriends and yet the crime go unpaid for, even if the act was committed in front of an ‘army of soldiers.’

What is to be called evidence in a case where a child is left fend for him/her self without the love of a mother? I think citizens need to take up an active role in the fight against domestic violence to diminish such malevolence from our society.

The call is been made for the Human Services Ministry and all the relevant agencies to act their part in the eradication of domestic violence. No one can imagine the fury of people living in a home where a relative is battered every or almost every day.

May be if the officials, Police and the others were victims or has relatives of abuse, perhaps then the would understand and take a better stand to protect the rights of other people.

-An abused wife

Three months for wounding wife

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on September 21, 2005
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Stabroek News – September 21, 2005

A man who was found guilty of wounding his reputed wife was last Friday sentenced to three months in prison by Magistrate Kim Kyte at the Kwakwani Magistrate’s court.

Carlyle Mentore was found guilty of unlawfully wounding Veronica Chappelle. Mentore had been on a bond for a similar offence when he wounded his reputed wife.It was alleged that on September 12 at Fadem Ville, Upper Berbice River, Mentore wounded Chappelle which resulted in her having lacerations to her forehead, right arm, back and bruising to her left eye. The matter was reported to the police and he was charged.

Senior citizen remains in police custody after marriage to 13-year-old

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on September 19, 2005
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Kaieteur News – September 19, 2005

The 71-year-old man who was detained by the police for allegedly ‘living home’ with a 13-year-old girl in Essequibo remains in police custody.

However, the teen has been sent by the Ministry of Social Services to Georgetown as investigations into the matter continue. This newspaper understands that the senior citizen was arrested last Friday after residents of Lima Sands reported that the teen was the man’s mistress even
though she was attending school.

Reports are that a marriage also took place under Muslim rites (nikka) some weeks ago and that the parents of the teen agreed to the union because of financial problems.

“The parents receive money from their 71-year-old son-in-law and they somewhat agreed to the marriage. But the child is a minor; how could they do such a thing,” one resident in the area lamented.

Reports are that when officers from the Social Security and Welfare Department contacted the girl’s parents they were abused and threatened by the father of the 13-year-old.

One resident told this newspaper that the matter came to light after the girl began ‘acting strange’. “Her actions were not like a schoolchild, but a grown woman,” the resident noted.

Investigations are continuing into the matter.