Women's Issues In Guyana


The festive season was fun for some women, but for many not

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on January 10, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 10 January 2011)

Dear Editor,

The joy and festivities of the Christmas season is now over, a new year has dawned and many sincere prayers have been whispered, new resolutions made and wishes for a new beginning, that life will be good, wonderful and beautiful. A dream that many dream, try to embrace, to search for, but sad to say, not all will be realised, not all will come true.

But there is hope as there is continued life, as the struggle continues for a better tomorrow, as strong hands reach out and persistent, caring voices take up the mantle to fight the monster of domestic violence.

For even during this Christmas season, when there should have been joy and happiness, there was for many, tears and sadness. Sitting at a small gift shop in a corner in the market, talking to a friend, the sad stories of some women passed that way.

The lady who put down her laden basket and sighed in despair, “The cooking, the baking and all the work, my body will be so tired, how can I enjoy anything? He’ll be having all the fun, there’s hardly a day for me.” 

She left with a bent head and sagging shoulders and the sentiments expressed by others were not very different, for there always seemed to be something sad, grievous or horrific in a woman’s life to relate.
Not many were smiling cheerfully, not many looked happy, because for them, not much was special, but down the way a little, there was music and laughter as some women vendors, busy with business all day, celebrated Christmas Eve with a few beers.

For some there was fun, for many not.

Old year’s day and the sad stories continued for the lady who related she could not spend Christmas day with her children and grandchildren for her husband who has been drinking heavily, found a reason to curse her, beat her and chase her with a cutlass. The stress and fatigue on her face portrayed a woman who had seen many years like that and for her the New Year would be nothing different.

Sitting by the gift shop, listening and sometimes consoling gives such a deep insight into these women’s lives, the young, the married, those divorced with children and single mothers for only then when they reach with family and friends or anyone who’s willing to listen, they can unburden their minds.
But, the music and laughter from the other side with the Bacardi and sprite said all wasn’t lost.

There was still some cheer for some of the hard working women in the market, trying to make a living for their children, women for whom there is still some laughter, never a more beautiful sound and if heard from every woman’s lips, life would certainly be wonderful.

Maureen Singh

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