Women's Issues In Guyana

Gender: Still more mountains left for women to climb

Posted in Education,Gender Equality by wiig on October 30, 2007
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Stabroek News – October 30, 2007

In an effort to frame our discussion today, I shall focus on sharing with you* Some data and analysis which support the economic impact of women in business Influences which hinder the inclusion or progression of women in business* My experience as a woman in business both from the family business perspective as well as an employee of Scotiabank, a Canadian based international financial institution* Actions to ensure there is progress and growth of women in business.

My objective is to awaken, rekindle or reinforce in each of you the awareness of the absolute importance of women in business and the role each of us can and must play at the personal and professional levels in ensuring that this awareness translates into action and results especially here in Guyana.

It is not only appropriate but very timely that this topic was selected for today’s discussion as Tuesday, October 17 was dedicated as World Poverty Day 2007 and the Women’s Funding Network and UNIFEM challenged the world to stand up online to call for increased investment in women to eradicate poverty worldwide.When women are afforded the equality of opportunity that is their basic human right the potential for economic development is striking. It is now understood that women and particularly women in business are the missing piece of the development puzzle. The Economist magazine called women “the most powerful engine” of global economic growth. (more…)

Man kills wife in daughter’s presence

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on October 29, 2007
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Kaieteur News – October 29, 2007

Three children were forced to sleep through the night even as their mother’s body lay mere inches away after she had been brutally stabbed to death by her reputed husband.

Kamal Doonwah, 47, of Bladen Hall North, East Coast Demerara, was stabbed seven times in her stomach, while her three children, nine-year-old Shivanie, seven-year-old Naleesha and five-year-old Navindra Samaroo lay sleeping in bed.

The eldest child awoke just in time to see her father inflict the final wounds before he fled the house.

The incident occurred some time between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The child and her siblings waited until daybreak to inform their neighbours.

Police have since detained Doonwah’s reputed husband and a woman.

Recalling the ordeal, nine-year-old Shivanie said that she was awakened by her mother’s screams. (more…)

This report of rape should be fully investigated

Posted in Crimes against Women by wiig on October 23, 2007
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Stabroek News – Tuesday, October 23rd 2007

Dear Editor,

Myself and others have been keenly following the recommendations put forward by the Minister of Social Security and Human Services to make perpetrators of female sexual abuse more accountable.

Admittedly there was initial scepticism… we felt this was a ploy designed to commit men of poor means to unreasonable lengthy prison terms based solely on flimsy verbal evidence given by so-called female victims. The PPP has come under attack recently by its Indo voting base to provide increased crime security measures or face the consequences at the next national elections.

Then something happened recently that caused even some of the PPP’s supporters to lose confidence in their credibility. According to the news media, a high ranking PPP member was about to be arrested based on accusations from an underage teenage female. Accompanied by her mother, the teenager reported to the police that she was sexually attacked by the senior PPP member. (more…)

Fatal Nexus: HIV/AIDS and Sexual Violence

Posted in Education,Legislation by wiig on October 21, 2007
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Chronicle – October 21, 2007

“A recent study found that condoms were used in only 3% of reported sexual violence cases in Guyana. Sexual violence carries not only a risk of pregnancy but a particularly high risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS, because of the increased risk of injury and bleeding.”

Stamp it Out: The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security Consultation Paper on Sexual Violence

On Friday, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Ms. Priya Manickchand officially began consultations on her initiative aimed at “strengthening existing protection against sexual violence and reforming the law on sexual offences.”

In the first paragraph of Foreword to the consultation paper, militantly entitled ‘Stamp it Out’ Minister Manickchand states that:

“Sexual violence is the most widespread and unpunished of crimes. It destroys lives, families and communities, holds back our society and economy, and spreads HIV/AIDS and other STDs.” (more…)

Scotia Bank executive calls for investment in women, equal opportunity

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on October 20, 2007
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Stabroek News – Saturday, October 20th 2007

Scotia Bank Managing Director Amanda St. Aubyn is advocating investment in women and the creation of equal business opportunities.

The Scotia Bank executive made this call while addressing the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCC&I) second business luncheon.

St. Aubyn who is the first female and the first Guyanese country manager of Scotia Bank spoke yesterday on the topic “Women in Business” at the luncheon which was held at the Ocean View Convention Centre.

Meantime, Col. (ret’d) Carl Morgan, President of the GCC&I, remarked that apart from the luncheon being a source of financing for the Chambers, the speakers incorporated into the event are expected to give participants value for their money. He reiterated too that women are playing an important role in the society, hence the topic. (more…)

Verbal sexual abuse

Posted in Commentary by wiig on October 20, 2007
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Stabroek News Editorial – October 20th 2007

A dialogue in this newspaper’s ‘Letters to the Editor’ column recently, focused on the dynamic in male-female relations. It started out with Naicelis Williams welcoming the initiative by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to have the laws governing rape brought into the twenty-first century.

She went on to write about the verbal abuse of women by men, which is a related matter and has become quite troubling in recent times. In particular, she mentioned the vulgar, sexually explicit and homophobic lyrics that pervade the airways and that were being blasted at GuyExpo and the unsolicited vulgar remarks and obscene suggestions that thrown at women on a daily basis by men they do not know.

She compared it to verbal rape and asked how men and boys might be persuaded to change this behaviour, which embarrasses women and could lead to men taking even more liberties with women. She threw the question out to readers. (more…)

Sexual offences overwhelm Turkeyen Police Station

Posted in Law Enforcement by wiig on October 15, 2007
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Kaieteur News – October 15, 2007

Sexual offences involving teenaged and other under-aged victims are on the increase in the Sophia area, according to police reports.

Sources at the Turkeyen Police Station told this newspaper that almost everyday there is at least one report of sexual assault. In most of these cases the victims are under aged girls.

According to a source at the Turkeyen Police Station, the Sophia area could be labeled as a depressed area. Most adults there are single parents and in most cases have to leave their children unsupervised at home to go out and make a living.

This breeds discontentment on the part of young girls who often fall prey to unscrupulous men who take advantage of the situation.

According to the source, when the parents find out, they do report the matters to the police who have been adopting a no settlement policy. (more…)

Women have to stand up and demand respect

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on October 13, 2007
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Stabroek News – October 13, 2007

Dear Editor,

It is so sad that Sharmillah Narine thinks it is okay for women to be called names and have horrible things said to them whilst they are walking on the streets.

Growing up in Guyana my friends and I as young girls were not immune to the horrible things men say to women. I am sure if we were caught alone we would have had more than dirty talk done to us.

We were so ashamed to even tell our parents. These types of remarks are degrading and humiliating to young women and girls.

It is sad to know that this type of behaviour still exists today, in fact it seems to me that it is even worse than before. I know Guyanese men can change and be respectful to women because they do change when they migrate to other countries.

I live in Canada now and it is so good to know that my daughter, who is eighteen years old can go anywhere she wants and not be harassed. And I wish that the young women in Guyana would have the same kind of respect.

Women have to stand up and demand respect and decent men have to stand behind their wives and daughters. There also need to be laws put in place to protect women from this type of harassment.

Yours faithfully,

Diane Lee

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