Women's Issues In Guyana


Police among participants at domestic violence workshop

Posted in Crimes against Women,Law Enforcement by wiig on October 29, 2005
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Stabroek News – October 29, 2005

Domestic violence, which continues to be of grave concern in the society, was the focus of a just-concluded workshop at Help and Shelter and involved police ranks, among others.

About twenty persons from the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), the Guyana Police Force and the Prison and Fire Services attended the workshop and used the forum to air concerns as well as make suggestions on the issue.

On Thursday, Cecil Kennard, Chairman of the PCA and former Chancellor of the Judiciary, opened the two-day session. Previously, he had approached Help and Shelter to conduct a mediation workshop for his staff, among others in the field.

The group explored several ways in which they could better deal with complaints of domestic violence taking into consideration the victim’s feelings. (more…)

National Assembly fixes age of consent at 16

Posted in Activism,Legislation by wiig on October 28, 2005
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Stabroek News – October 28, 2005
By Andre Haynes

The National Assembly yesterday voted in favour of 16 as the new age of sexual consent, while MPs looked ahead towards the enactment of comprehensive laws to deal with sex crimes.

The Criminal Law Offences Bill (Age of Consent Bill) 2004 was carried through its third reading after the adoption of the Report of the Special Select Committee that was set up to review the proposed legislation just under a year ago. At the time the government was under fire for its failure to change the century-old law, which set the age of consent at 13. The criticism was sparked by a case before the court involving an adult man and his relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Minister of Labour Dr. Dale Bisnauth, who chaired the Committee, told members of the house yesterday that despite considerable support in favour of age 18, the fact that 18 was also the age of majority was enough to sway the committee against it. He said that in many other countries there is a difference between the age of consent and the age of majority with the former being invariably lower. Additionally, he noted that 16 is in line with the age of consent in other Caricom countries, although not a condition that needed to be satisfied to be CSME ready, “but it may not be an insignificant point.” It should be noted that other countries, most notably Jamaica, have been revisiting their laws on this matter. (more…)

Why do men like to embarrass women?

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on October 15, 2005
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Kaieteur News – October 15, 2005

Dear Editor,

I find it difficult to understand a situation that has been recurring all the time. Why do some men assume they can do certain things?
On 13th of October, 2005, as a student resident on the University of Guyana , Turkeyen Campus, I was going to the Information Technology building. I came out of the dormitory’s road and had to pass three men cleaning a trench situated just after the road I came out of.

As I approached these workers, I ignored them and walked pass without a word. Just then, one of them said loudly, “Wah yuh gat yuh face su ugly fuh?”

The second one added, “She na musee get am good last night wit he! Yuh na no duh. She na musee get am good!”

I was very embarrassed, because I don’t have much of a ‘social life’ and my reputation is not one on the negative side. What makes it worse is that some people think that when country girls come up to the University of Guyana , their reputation goes from good to bad. I really don’t understand why they take pleasure in throwing all sorts of ugly remarks at us and think it is so ‘right.’

I am sure everyone has some female relative. How would they feel if people go about making vulgar remarks about their female relatives , especially if they are from decent homes?

I know there isn’t anything that can really be done but I want to share my views, because I really don’t find it appropriate for men to have this amount of privilege!

Concerned Victim

Policeman held for raping 15-year-old female prisoner

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on October 9, 2005
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Kaieteur News – October 9, 2005

A police constable has been placed under close arrest for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl who was being detained at the East La Penitence Police Station. The incident reportedly occurred about two weeks ago. Kaieteur News understands that the teen was detained last month after she was found wandering in the city.

It is alleged that the policemen took the girl out of the lockups and carried her to an Eve Leary location where he sexually assaulted her. The matter was reported to senior officials and the rank was taken into custody.

Meanwhile, police are hunting for a minibus conductor who allegedly drugged and raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl on Friday. According to reports, the teen was going to South Ruimveldt to visit the conductor’s sister when the suspect followed her. The teen alleged that he gave her a beverage and that she fell asleep after drinking it.

She claimed she eventually awoke to find that her underwear had been removed and that she was bleeding from her privates.
The matter was reported to the police who have been unable to locate the suspect.

‘We women do not always have it easy…’

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on October 7, 2005
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-Forum focuses on women’s business association

Stabroek News – October 7, 2005
By Nicosia Smith

A women’s business association, increased managerial training and a business directory were among the many suggestions that came out of the forum ‘Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Focus on Women.’

The forum held on September 30 at the Hotel Tower was organised by Empretec Guyana and the Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union and the government. It was touted as being the first women’s forum related to business.

Some 130 women were divided into seven groups and out of these discussions several suggestions were made. (more…)

17-year-old in police custody for 
allegedly raping 10-year-old

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on October 2, 2005
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Kaieteur News – October 2, 2005

The 17-year-old boy who allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl on Friday in his mother’s home at Buxton was taken into police custody yesterday.

According to reports the boy had lured the unsuspecting girl into his mother’s home under the pretext of providing mangoes for her mother to make him some achar.

While the lad is claiming that the girl had entered his bedroom, called him and undressed before instructing him to have sex with her, the girl has alleged that he had pulled her from the living room into his bedroom where he blocked her mouth with his hands, pulled off her clothes and raped her.

The lad was adamant of the fact that he did not penetrate the young girl.

The girl’s mother had said that her daughter had gone to the lad’s home and had returned sobbing hysterically, relating that the young man had raped her.

Several angry residents attacked the teen upon overhearing the story, forcing him to seek refuge in the bedroom of his ailing aunt who resides nearby.

In their bid to avenge the alleged act, villagers broke down the door of the aunt’s home, and dragged out the lad beating him to unconsciousness.

Eventually, he was rescued by his mother who had returned from a business trip, and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he was treated for injuries to the head, left bicep, right thumb and other areas.

Stella says…Caveman Ideology is So Last Season

Kaieteur News – October 2, 2005

This week the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security announced the re-launching of its quarterly magazine, “Woman Powah.” In light of the many vile headlines that blazed in front of our eyes this week detailing a woman dying because of a botched abortion, a woman being abducted on her way to work, 110 rapes in this year so far and little girls being sold by their families to disgusting old men – this is one headline that offers a bit of hope for the women of Guyana.

According to a Kaieteur News article from last Friday, Minister Bibi Shadick, “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.”

Bravo Bibi!! Bravo!!! I think you just might be my favorite person in the entire PPP government. In a time when gender equality is still on shaky grounds in even the most progressive countries, Guyana’s government is taking significant measures to dispel notions of inequity. Now this is one policy I can support 100 percent.

Caveman ideology, or misogyny – as they call it in modern language, is slowly being weeded out of civilized society since women are now “allowed” to get an education, work outside of the house and leave abusive or unfaithful husbands with compensation for their contributions to his success in life. We’ve come a long way baby! This is where we raise our wine glasses for a toast – clink! (more…)