Women's Issues In Guyana

Help and Shelter does counsel men

Posted in Activism,Culture & Society by wiig on April 30, 2007
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Guyana Chronicle – April 30, 2007

The Editorial in Guyana Chronicle “We need a Help and Shelter for men” of Saturday 28 April calls for counselling services for abusive men, especially in the light of the reported suicides of two men who were being sought for brutal attacks on women they had been in relationships with.

Help & Shelter is surprised that writer of the editorial did not bother to check with any of the agencies named to see whether they do offer counselling services to men, including abusive men. Help & Shelter’s counselling services are also available to men, and our statistics available from our website at http://www.sdnp.org.gy/hands will indicate that there are male clients.

The first step towards making changes to patterns and types of abuse is recognising and accepting responsibility that the individual involved is an abuser. Without this crucial first step the abuser will continue to shift blame onto the victim, circumstances etc.

Therefore, our interventions with abusive and violent men have to ensure that there is respect for the safety of the women and children involved. Our counselling interventions with abusive men also insist that the support for the change in an abuser’s behaviour is not conditional on his partner remaining in the relationship and exposing herself to further risk of injury and abuse.

Help & Shelter strongly condemns any approach which suggests that ‘provocation’ is an excuse for any kind of violent behaviour and believes that all violent and abusive actions should receive the full consequences according to the law.

There is an urgent need for specialised rehabilitative services for abusers, especially outside of Georgetown. Any person willing to change their abusive behaviour is welcome to come to Help & Shelter.

Members of Help & Shelter
(contact Danuta Radzik and Vidyaratha Kissoon)


Villagers allege dead woman was an “Ole Higue”

Guyana Chronicle – April 29, 2007

The naked body of a woman allegedly beaten to death by villagers who claim she was an “ole Higue” was found on a parapet aback of Bare Root , East Coast Demerara, early yesterday morning, blood oozing from her mouth.

Villagers say she is not from the area.

Scores of villagers rushed to the scene early this morning when the gruesome discovery was made and after some time. The police were summoned to the scene and they took some residents with them for questioning.

Close to where the body was found is a house in which a woman lives with her baby, and villagers said that teeth-marks were evident on the child’s skin.

It is believed that the woman was beaten when she was discovered in the house and later dumped on the parapet.

The police were unavailable for a comment yesterday.

An unwanted perception of a people

Kaieteur News – April 28, 2007

Dear Editor,

I am really disturbed over the incident that took place outside of a night club on Sheriff Street 27 th March 2007. I fear for all Amerindians.

On March 4 th 2007 at 2:00pm an 18-year-old Amerindian girl was standing at the De-Hoop public road (Mahaica) awaiting transportation for her grandparents place. Up came a vehicle the driver (a young African man) pointed a gun to her to get in his vehicle she humbly did so, for fear of seeing a gun and lack of knowledge that she could have run.

The chauffeur drove her to Georgetown, all the while threatening her with the gun, took her to some place raped her, robbed her of her phone and money and dumped her at the seawall by the Pegasus.

She was not a sex worker and she was a virgin.   (more…)

Police need to do more to ensure women’s safety

Posted in Crimes against Women,Law Enforcement by wiig on April 28, 2007
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Stabroek News – April 28, 2007

Help and Shelter says it is appalled at the recent escalation of violence and murder of women in Linden and called on the police to redouble their efforts to ensure that women and their children are safe.

The group, in a press release, said it is committed to the eradication of all forms of violence in the society and, in particular, domestic violence and child abuse. It called on the Linden Police Force to ensure that women and their children “are given the very best of protection and security at all times and that those responsible for these terrible acts of violence are brought to justice.” The incident in which 18-month-old Shaquan Nero was killed and his mother Bernadette sustained head injuries raises concerns once again about the police response to domestic violence reports.

As had been reported in the April 6 edition of this newspaper, Bernadette Nero had made a 911 call to the police station for help against her abuser and even when she explained that the abuser was outside and that she would have been in greater danger if she attempted to leave the house, the police never came. The A&F Police Division (Linden) statement confirms the details of the incident but not the call for help.   (more…)

The Board is committed to the development of Women’s Cricket

Posted in Sports by wiig on April 26, 2007
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Stabroek News – April 26, 2007

Dear Editor,

In response to your request for comments on the letter captioned “Guyana Cricket Board has sidelined Women’s Cricket” I wish to state the following:

The integration of Women’s Cricket into the mainstream of WI cricket was based on a mandate from the ICC for this to be effected by June 2005. With regards to Guyana, numerous meetings/discussions were held with the local Women’s body after which it was decided that the GCB will absorb Women’s Cricket into its domestic cricket programme, with all affiliates being in-structed to schedule women’s cricket as part of their annual itinerary.

This did not progress as quickly as we expected and maybe is the cause for the type of concern indicated by the writer. Nevertheless the Board is committed to the development of all cricket at every level and will do its best to promote and develop cricket in keeping with its mandate.   (more…)

A reluctance to enforce the law

Posted in Crimes against Women,Law Enforcement by wiig on April 23, 2007
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Kaieteur News – April 23, 2007

When the government moved to hike the age of consent the intention was to protect young girls from the so-called sexual predators. Some of the people canvassed for their views suggested that if a young man was involved with the under-aged girl then the law would be tailored to prevent him from being subjected to the same penalty as a grown up.

However, this has not been the case since no law is supposed to be discriminatory. All should be made to suffer the same penalty for the charge of statutory rape.

This law is now on the statutes but it is being observed more in the breach. Girls as young as 13 are still being impregnated and are still prone to sexual assaults but not many of the perpetrators are being hauled before the courts.

We now have the case of a 13-year-old girl who has reportedly eloped with a 20-year-old but there has been no prosecution for statutory rape. When the matter first surfaced, the police did arrest the male perpetrator but after holding him for 72 hours, they released him on station bail without pressing charges.   (more…)

There is much more sexual abuse from private sector employers

Posted in Business,Crimes against Women by wiig on April 6, 2007
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Stabroek News – April 6, 2007

Dear Editor,

I couldn’t agree more with Vishnu Bisram when he said that sexual predators should be made to experience a custodial penalty in conjunction with making monetary compensation to their victims.

In his letter captioned “Officials who demand sex for jobs or promotions should also be prosecuted” (07-04-04), he has told half of the story only, by focusing on public officials alone.

I wish to assure Mr. Bisram that every type of sexual offence takes place on a much higher scale in the private sector than in the public sector. In fact, due to the non-unionization of a large section of the private sector, the workers therein suffer much more at the hands of their employers who treat them as their personal property which they misuse and abuse.   (more…)

In Guyana there has traditionally been little respect for women’s rights, Red Thread must be congratulated

Posted in Activism,Gender Equality by wiig on April 5, 2007
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Stabroek News – April 5, 2007

Dear Editor,

Women have always been the foundation of the family, the core of values, and the pillar of society. I have seen my mother champion the social structure of our family when my father was careless about our own survival. My mother worked in rain and sun, side by side, and even more than my father did. As a kid myself and my brother were with her in the rice field planting rice with our hands and cutting rice with grass knives and oftentimes after school.

As a child, I watched her laboured, suffered and endured pain just to keep her family fed. She is still a remarkable woman. But she was not alone. I saw her alongside many other women in Leguan who struggled beyond compare. My father abused her and other men abused their wives. There is no recourse or protection for these women. Not even today.

Women have been and continue to be abused physically, mentally and emotionally. In Guyana, men rule and therefore, there is no consideration for women’s rights. Women are abused by the system itself where justice never sees them as the weaker party. It only sees them as casualties of their own misfortune. I am so pleased to see that women have started to take action in their own hands. I applaud the courage and resilience of the women of the Red Thread organisation. (more…)

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