Women's Issues In Guyana

Over 50 `Stamp it out’ meetings held

Stabroek News – December 25, 2007

More than fifty “Stamp it out” consultations were held across the country since early November and as it nears the wrap-up date, persons are being urged to still make contributions.Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Priya Manickchand has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the consultations on sexual violence so far, and plans to host a live television programme early next year before the paper is laid before the National Assembly.”The Government will continue to initiate talks on the prevalent issues in society and we see this as a national conversation where the intervention of everyone is needed”, Manickchand was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).

She further stated that stamping out violence in the society will be a continuing effort of her ministry, adding that this is also part of government’s commitment.

Stamp it out which contains proposals that deal with toughening up of laws against sexual offences and improving protection against sexual violence is expected to be presented in Parliament in the first quarter of 2008. (more…)


Journalists urged to avoid gender stereotypes, portrayal of women in media

Posted in Education,Gender Equality,Health Issues by wiig on December 25, 2007
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Stabroek News – December 25th 2007

Journalists from across the region have been challenged to put on their gender lens when reporting and to avoid stereotypes particularly in relation to women and how they are portrayed in the mass media.

These, among other issues were addressed at an intense two-day Gender Equity and Women Empowerment Training session for regional journalists. The workshop, a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Gender, Ethnicity and Health Unit initiative, was hosted by Women’s Media Watch (WMW) of Jamaica last week in Barbados. It drew journalists from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago Grenada, St Maarten, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, St Kitts, Belize and Grenada.

PAHO Regional Adviser, Gender Health and Development Dr William Adu-Krow said the organization is currently considering the pervasive presence of gender inequalities in health; the international mandates on gender equality and the United Nations system increasing practice of integrating gender equality criteria in policies and programmes among other things. It will commit to mainstream gender equality in all facets of PAHO’s technical cooperation work; national health development policy frameworks as well as its organizational development and human resource policies. (more…)

‘Stamp it out’ consultations to hit television in January

Posted in Crimes against Women,Legislation by wiig on December 23, 2007
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Kaieteur News – December 23, 2007

In January, the Human Services Ministry will be taking its ‘stamp it out’ consultations to the television.

Minister of Human Services, Priya Manickchand, said that the aim is to extend the programme to a wider group of people before the Paper is laid before the National Assembly.

The Ministry hopes to present the paper in the first quarter of 2008.

“The Government will continue to initiate talks on the prevalent issues in society, and we see this as a national conversation where the intervention of everyone is needed,” Manickchand said.

She added that a massive education campaign will be launched after the new Sexual Violence Bill would have been passed in Parliament.

Minister Manickchand said that protecting victims and ‘stamping out’ violence in the society will be a continuing effort by the Human Services Ministry.

“We have gone far ahead than most countries in the Caribbean in dealing with sexual violence, and it does not stop here, the Government is committed to “stamp out” violence in the society,” the Minister asserted. (more…)

Substance abuse programme for women to come on stream

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on December 23, 2007
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…$100M slated to tackle drug addiction prevention

Kaieteur News – December 23, 2007

Female drug addicts will soon have intervention recourse to fight their addiction. Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy made the announcement on Friday during his end of year press briefing.

He noted that the venture will be in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and the substance recovery programme will be located on the East Coast Demerara.

Presently, there are only two such programmes in existence. The first is the Phoenix Recovery and the other is operated by the Salvation Army.

The intervention, which will take the form of a facility, will require persons to live in for periods of six months to one year, depending on the level of addiction.

Whilst abstinence will be on the front burner, the programme will focus on addressing the lifestyles of the patients through counseling and supervision.

He added that in the first quarter of the coming year, the ministry is seeking to introduce a holistic approach whereas a medical component will be introduced. “That is, treating persons with certain medication in order to improve the recovery rate…2008 will for the first time see a comprehensive recovery response for substance in Guyana .” (more…)

Failed judicial system aids rapists — GHRA

Posted in Judicial,Law Enforcement,Legislation by wiig on December 23, 2007
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Kaieteur News – December 23, 2007

During the course of 2007, the High Court trials of seventeen accused rapists could not proceed because the accused could not be found. Having been committed to the High Court following Preliminary Inquires, these cases had to be postponed, and they will probably have to be abandoned.

The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) describes this state of affairs as an indictment of current approaches to bailing accused persons in rape and other serious sexual offences cases.

In a release, the organisation noted that these men accounted for half of a list of absconded accused published in the press by the Director of Public Prosecutions earlier this year.

The DPP was seeking the assistance of the public as to the whereabouts of these men.

Rather than a wake-up call for more stringent application of rules governing bail, the fact that sexual offences cases in the High Court are grinding to a halt appears to have had the opposite effect. Bail in such matters is now being granted more readily than ever, even when minors are involved, the GHRA noted. (more…)

Women must have greater sway in decision-making

Posted in Education,Gender Equality by wiig on December 15, 2007
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By Oluatoyin Alleyne

Stabroek News – December 15, 2007

There is a relatively large number of women at the various levels of government, but their influence on decision-making is still limited, according to the findings of working groups of the Women’s Progressive Organ-isation (WPO) at their recently concluded congress.

However, women’s lack of influence in decision-making is their own fault, since one of the main reasons for this is that “women do not have adequate communication skills and lack confidence in making presentations. They do not always have access to information, facts and figures to argue their case,” the working groups found.

Because of this, General Secretary Indra Chandarpal said, the WPO, the women’s arm of the ruling PPP, has been going into communities and holding ‘bottom-house’ meetings.

She said it was important for women to find a balance between being a homemaker and a citizen and pointed to another reason identified by the delegates for women not making a major impact in decision-making – the lack of job opportunities and being at home limits the space in which the women are able to socialise and as a result, their sphere of influence is limited. (more…)