Women's Issues In Guyana


Amazed to see Red Thread’s letter

Posted in Commentary,Gender Equality by wiig on November 19, 2007
Tags: , , , , ,

Guyana Chronicle – November 19, 2007

I was, frankly, amazed to see the Guyana Chronicle carrying the letter last week from Red Thread expressing its concern, anger and frustration at the AFC’s statement on the VAT, in which Raphael Trotman indicated a letter had been sent out to a number of stakeholders, who turned out to be the usual lineup of political parties and trade unions (with the exception of Eileen Cox, tireless consumer advocate), and which completely bypassed Red Thread and indicated a most worrying tendency to conduct business as usual.

Political parties simply cannot join the fray after the fact and take the lead. Why is it so difficult to learn this lesson and what is it about politics that makes it so difficult to learn the lesson of humility and to learn to listen and hear? I was amazed because I know that Red Thread has a practice of sending copies of all of its letters to the three main newspapers: Kaieteur News; Guyana Chronicle; Stabroek News, and has recently started sending them as well to the Catholic Standard.

As the general public will know, Red Thread has been in the forefront of making its opposition to the VAT known, and has written numerous letters to the press and participated in and organized several demonstrations to make clear the effects of the tax on grassroots women, men and children. To the best of our knowledge, the Chronicle newspaper has never seen fit to publish one of these letters in the past. Not one and I invite the editor Sharief Khan to correct me on this claim, notwithstanding Red Thread’s central role in the VAT Campaign (a campaign that has remained in the public eye only through the efforts of a few: Red Thread; C.N. Sharma; and Eileen Cox of the Consumers Association).

Did the letters somehow magically not reach their destination? What are we to make of the fact that the Guyana Chronicle has only now suddenly decided to give Red Thread some space on its letters page when it has vigorously responded to the AFC’s narrow and limited statement on VAT? I do not think this media move is any different from that of a political party that finally decides to break its silence on VAT, only to sideline those who its says it is really concerned about. In a nutshell, in the case of the AFC the women get silenced. In the case of the Guyana Chronicle the women get used.

Guyanese are tired of cynical and cheap political points being scored at their expense. I hope the readership can see through these tricks, and recognize that it is the interests of Guyanese at large that get continually sacrificed on the altar of tiresome partisan, non-inclusive politics.

ALISSA TROTZ.

Editor’s note – We have carried many letters in the past from Red Thread. We have no policy of shutting out Red Thread from our letter pages.

In fact, if the reader did her homework she would have seen that we carried a letter from Red Thread on VAT

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