Women's Issues In Guyana

Women’s woes

Posted in Business,Gender Equality by wiig on December 22, 2005
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Kaieteur News – December 22, 2005

In this country females have outperformed males in every stratum of education for at least a generation, but women continue to be a clear minority in the higher echelons of public and political life in Guyana, and they are grossly under-represented in top workplace positions.

The lack of female participation in positions of real power is so obvious that most people are painfully aware of it. A study by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women done in a 1994 newspaper showed that female representation in Parliament peaked at 22 per cent in 1985. In other top decision-making positions in Government, female representation reached a high point of 33.3 per cent in 1993.

The study found that women’s participation in middle and lower-level management positions hovered around 25 per cent in 1993. However women did not play significant roles in decision-making, except in the low-paying service sector and the teaching profession. And, although women were active in the trade unions in both the private and the public sector, they held few high positions in management and the executive branches. (more…)


Increasing violation of sanctity 
of women is horrendous

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on December 22, 2005
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Kaieteur News – December 22, 2005

Dear Editor,

As I open the newspaper every day, I am disheartened and sad to read about the increasing number of rape, sodomy and carnal knowledge committed on women and children.

How would a little child who has had her chastity violated be able to live the rest of her life? For these unfortunate individuals, it is most obvious that they will be scarred for life.

Undoubtedly, they will suffer emotional, mental, and physical pain and anguish. Is there justification and satisfaction for the victims of such immoralities? If the perpetrator(s) is/are caught, should these offenders be allowed bail?

In some countries, such horrendous and abhorrent acts result in severe and harsh punishments. (more…)

Domestic violence continues unabated despite the Act that was passed

Posted in Crimes against Women,Legislation by wiig on December 20, 2005
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Stabroek News – December 20, 2005

Dear Editor,

The Domestic Violence Act is not working. Every day women are being beaten, brutalised and even murdered at the hands of men, either husbands or lovers. Yet nothing is being done by those in authority.

We have a ministry headed by a woman which is responsible for executing this act. But it seems that it is not functioning effectively.
There are a number of women’s organisations in Guyana but most of them are affiliated to political parties. When matters of a political nature arise these organisations are heard. Otherwise nothing is being done by those so called women’s organisations.

The police seem to give a lukewarm response to crimes of domestic violence when complaints are make to police stations. Many times complainants are told to “go home and make up with your man”, or “we are not interfering in man and woman affairs, that is a domestic matter”. (more…)

Why are girls doing better?

Posted in Education by wiig on December 20, 2005
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Stabroek News – December 20, 2005

Dear Editor,

Interesting – Ian McDonald’s Sunday column article headed “Let women keep the lamps”. The question of girls doing better, on the whole, in the education system is something exercising the minds of the educational sector in Britain. No one seems to have an answer so far.

One of my favourite sayings is “Men mess the world up, women have to put it right”. When I expressed to a friend of mine views similar to Ian McDonald’s about women taking a more active part in politics and playing a more prominent role in world affairs, she wondered whether this was such a good idea, because, as she put it, “women are too emotional”.

Many of us are still mourning the retirement of Baroness Thatcher from the political scene – she made us sit up and think, whether we wore her political ‘colours’ or not.

I remain convinced that women are from Mars, men from Venus! A Happy holiday season to everyone.

Yours faithfully,
Geralda Dennison

GHRA seeks to improve delivery of 
justice to sexual violence victims

Posted in Judicial,Law Enforcement by wiig on December 18, 2005
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Kaieteur News – December 18, 2005

A campaign aimed at improving the delivery of justice to women survivors of sexual violence was launched earlier this week by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA).

The campaign was announced following a meeting of the GHRA and members of the Age of Consent Coalition (AOCC). The decision follows the publication earlier this year of a study on conviction rates in sexual violence cases by the GHRA which detailed the required reforms.

According to Co President of the GHRA, Merle Mendonca, members of the AOCC had voiced their dissatisfaction with what they felt was the almost secretive manner in which the Age Of Consent Bill was hurried through Parliament late October. They agreed to extend their fundamental concern over the age of consent – namely protection of young women – into this broader campaign on sexual violence. (more…)

Stella’s Says…All I Want for Christmas is Happy Women

Kaieteur News – December 18, 2005

What do I want for Christmas? I am a simple lady with very distinctive taste, so it is not easy to shop for me unless you know me very well. Creative types can be so eclectic some times (just look at Freddie) and my tastes and distastes change on a constant basis.

On top of everything else, I adore old world charm. I love history so much that at times I would trade the conveniences of modern life to fight alongside Joan of Arc or help Cleopatra scheme her way through another political mess or love affair. How great would it have been to fly with Amelia Earhart? Except that I would have wanted a return flight ticket.

The one reason I should probably remain in the 21st century is because I could never fall into that submissive woman role. I love that my Guyanese guy has been man enough to insist on equity in our relationship from the very start, which was over 20 years ago now.

I am reading a book this week just for fun. It has no screaming political message and nothing to be learned – aside from a life lesson. The book is called, “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. I have never read any of his books before, but I try to be open to new adventures. This story is set during World War II in the Southern States of the US.   (more…)

Take women’s views more seriously?

Posted in Activism by wiig on December 15, 2005
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Kaieteur News – December 15, 2005

Dear Editor,

Stella Ramsaroop’s article in response to Deborah Osman Backers’ earlier letter calling on more women to enter politics and public life raised some interesting points as did Osman Backer’s later appearance on One on One. I agree with these ladies that more women speak out on all issues.

In the interview, Deborah Backer reminded everyone that it was over a decade ago at the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 that it was agreed that 30% of the persons facing the electorate should be women.

It is, however, unfortunate that after elections in Guyana women entering politics do not try to bring more of a woman’s perspective to issues.

If 51% of the population is women, shouldn’t those elected take women’s views more seriously?

At this juncture, it is difficult to see the benefits of having more women in public life if they do not.

Denise Boodie

Fifth Essequibo rape accused freed

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on December 12, 2005
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Stabroek News – December 12, 2005

A fifth rape case was discontinued at the Essequibo Assizes on November 29 when the virtual complainant agreed to settle out of court.

Rape accused, Walter Savory was set free by Justice Winston Moore before his jury trial commenced after the young woman he was accused of raping indicated to the court that she no longer wanted to give evidence in the matter. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle prosequi (an entry on the record that the prosecutor will proceed no further) in the matter and Savoury was released.

The State’s case in the matter was that Savory sexually assaulted the young girl while she was on the run. She had escaped from the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) and was staying near to the accused.

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