Women's Issues In Guyana


Stella Says…I want to see a competition between Portia Simpson Miller and Keith Hernandez

Posted in Culture & Society,Gender Equality,Stella Says by wiig on April 30, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 30, 2006

Female leaders sure have been busy this week in the Caribbean. In Trinidad, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was appointed as the new leader of the opposition party, United National Congress (UNC) after the former Prime Minister, Basdeo Panday, was imprisoned for not being as forthcoming as possible to T & T’s Integrity Commission.

Also in Trinidad this week, Jamaica’s new female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, made her first official visit since assuming her new position last month. She and Trinidadian Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, reached an agreement that Trinidad will supply Jamaica with a long-term supply of natural gas.

Meanwhile, back in the states, a former baseball player for my favourite team, the Cardinals, let his mouth move faster than his brain. Keith Hernandez, who is now a sport commentator for the New York Mets, was seriously upset when he saw a woman in the San Diego Padre’s dugout last Sunday.

He said, “Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What’s going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout.” Little did caveman commentator Keith know that “the girl with long hair” was the Padres’ massage therapist and a legitimate part of the team’s training staff.   (more…)

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Stella Says…As if rape and abuse are not enough, women cannot even trust their nurses

Posted in Health Issues,Stella Says by wiig on April 18, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 18, 2006

As I read the Kaieteur News article from Sunday entitled, “Maternity ward patients’ horror stories,” my feelings progressed from grief to anger to absolute outrage at how women were treated by the very medical professionals they trusted to safely help bring their babies into this world.

To say that I am appalled by this disgusting lack of professionalism is putting it very mildly. My mother-in-law’s mother died in a similar way over 60 years ago. She had delivered her baby, but fell out of the bed and bled to death before anyone even knew what had happened.

My mother-in-law and her younger brothers were then raised by their father and other family members, but what they needed was their mother. However, that was decades ago and one would assume that no such tragedies would be taking place today. Or at least very, very, very seldom.   (more…)

Guyana Parliamentarians for first regional CWP

Posted in Politics by wiig on April 17, 2006
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Guyana Chronicle – April 17, 2006

FOURTEEN women parliamentarians were due to leave Guyana yesterday to attend the first Commonwealth Women Parliament (CWP) of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

The meeting, to be held in Nassau, The Bahamas, from tomorrow to Saturday, will address several areas of concern to women members of the CPA, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.

According to GINA, the topics on the agenda include ‘Impact of women in decision-making in the Region’, ‘Getting elected: pre and post election preparation, support and encouragement’, ‘Overcoming challenges experienced by women in politics’ and ‘How can women parliamentarians in the Region ensure that the gender party effort include both genders?’ (more…)

Maternity ward patients’ horror stories

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on April 16, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 16, 2006

Linda Sandiford, a mother from Berbice, went to the New Amsterdam hospital in labour. She was pregnant with her second child and anticipated that all would be well.  Little did Sandiford know that thanks to a sleeping nurse, she would have to deliver her baby unaided.

Sandiford said that she was admitted around 18:30hrs and was examined and given a bed.  She said the nurse who attended to her told her that it would be quite some time before she would be ready to deliver.

According to Sandiford, she therefore used the time between contractions to unpack her bag and chat with other patients in the ward. (more…)

Stella Says…America has a double standard on Women’s Issues

Posted in Culture & Society,Gender Equality,Stella Says by wiig on April 13, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 13, 2006

Last week I received an email from Sean Adams, a frequent letter writer, who pointed out that although several countries around the world are voting women into high (if not the highest) governmental positions, America has yet to vote a woman into the office of President.

Mr. Adams feels this is a double standard by the United States – and quite frankly, I agree. The U.S. loves to talk about women’s issues and encourage other countries to protect women from the many atrocities the gender has suffered (and is still suffering). However, when it comes to electing a woman to lead the country, America is – to some degree – still in the Dark Ages.

While there has been significant progress made for women in the last few decades and a healthy majority of the population view women as intelligent and capable, there is still a sizable group of Americans who believe a woman should be barefoot and pregnant. Translation: Keep the ignorant woman out of the man’s way while he makes all of the important decisions.   (more…)

Stella Says…International women leaders are setting higher standards

Posted in Gender Equality,Politics,Stella Says by wiig on April 6, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 06, 2006

The world cannot help but take notice of the scores of women leaders who have recently come to the forefront of the international community. It is true that the gender of these leaders alone is news since women have been relegated solely to the position “housewife” for thousands of years – whether she wanted this position or not.

However, it is not only the fact that women are stepping out as world leaders that is catching the world’s interest. It is the finesse and quality of their leadership abilities that is wowing those who serve with these them and the constituency of their respective countries.

Last week in Israel, the nation’s newest centrist party, Kadima (which means forward), won the elections after putting the very popular female Foreign Minister, Tzipi Liyni, out in front of the public in the campaign ads for the party. Kadima took 32 of 120 seats, with the next closest party only taking 22 seats. Maybe this is the year for new parties with feminine leadership and new visions?   (more…)

Hope for female substance abusers

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on April 6, 2006
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Kaieteur News – April 16, 2006

Mention the word drug addict in Guyana, and the picture that invariably leaps into mind is that of a bedraggled man rummaging through a garbage bin.

But walk the streets of Georgetown at nights and you will see a different picture. It is a picture of women who are willing to do anything to get drugs.

Savitri Ramnarine is one of these women, a woman that most of society probably considers to be of little or no significance. This is her story.

Savitri, in her youthful years, was a sought after prostitute. “ Sheriff Street was my first home and where I lived, I ruled. I was the lady of the house and I ruled my home like no other prostitute. Every man I touched kept coming back for more and I always had a refill.”

She worked for men from all walks of life and was the envy of many women who walked the streets at nights. (more…)