Women's Issues In Guyana

Violence against women increasing, Human Services calls for national action

Guyana Chronicle – March 8, 2008

THERE is increasing incidence of violence against Guyanese women and girls, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security said yesterday and called for national action across all divides to confront the problem.

The Ministry’s statement comes as Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing International Women’s Day.

“The reality is that our women and girls are becoming increasingly vulnerable in our society today,” the Ministry stated, noting that violence against women and girls are particularly reprehensible when committed by employers, partners and even relatives.

“The time has come to break through those walls of silence and turn legal norms into reality in women’s lives,” the Ministry stated.

“That means, society as a whole must take responsibility and work for enduring change in values and attitudes,” the Ministry added, pointing out that governments and international organizations must operate in close partnership with social services, voluntary and professional organizations, private sector and the broader public.

“It means we must all, women and men, work for a transformation in relations between women and men at all levels of society,” the Ministry stated, calling for women to make a change.

“Let us not give up hope. We still have a battle ahead. We have to make a difference,” the Ministry stated.

As Guyana observes International Women’s Day, the Ministry said Guyanese must pause and reflect “on our achievements, our disappointments and our failures.” It said much attention must be given to gender issues from all sectors and there must be a commitment from all.”

The Ministry said the social upliftment and economic justices for women, especially at the “grass roots” level, must be resolved.

“It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change,” the Ministry stated.

“Until women and men work together to secure the rights and full potential of women, lasting solutions to the world’s most serious social, economic and political problems are unlikely to be found,” the Ministry added.

Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon on February 25, 2008 launched a global campaign to end violence against women, counting on advocates of government, civil society and the UN to carry the message around the world.

The Ministry called on Guyanese to work towards this commitment, saying far too often the crimes go unpunished and the perpetrators walk free.

“Let us help to reach our destination to end violence against women and girls everywhere,” the Ministry stated.

“Let us commit and recommit ourselves in 2008 to work together as a people of a nation to bring about the changes we would like to achieve and the goals for a better future.”


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