Women's Issues In Guyana

Significant measures to get maternal health care delivery back on track

Posted in Health Issues,Politics by wiig on January 15, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Guyana Chronicle on 15 January 2011)

The setbacks experienced by the health sector in the area of maternal health care last year reflect the sector’s “biggest disappointment” in the last decade, according to Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy. Ramsammy, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, said 2011 will see significant measures being taken to ensure that Guyana get back on track in delivering quality maternal health care and, by extension, meeting the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health care.

The Health Minister said these measures will include:
* Going back to basics, systems which proved successful in the past;
* Introducing eight  new doctors at the maternity ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital who will advance their expertise, working with seasoned health workers, as well as contributing to bettering the quality of care with their new skills;
* Allocating a theatre dedicated to maternal surgeries at the hospital;
* Introducing a post graduate programme in obstetrics at the University of Guyana; and
* Increasing awareness, expressly among health workers, to ensure that maternal cases are attended to with an increased sense of urgency.

“We have had almost 10 years of reducing maternal deaths and at the start of 2010 we were doing well…we recognise the need for improvement and all efforts will be directed to ensuring that we get back on track,” Ramsammy said. (more…)


Maternal and child death reports to be submitted to Cabinet sub-committee

Posted in Health Issues,Politics by wiig on January 12, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 12 January 2011)

Although all the details of forensic reports are not for the consumption of the general public, it is important that certain details are made known. At least this is according to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy.

He revealed that the public should always be apprised when a forensic report is written, despite the fact that such reports are not meant for everybody.

He asserted that if care and caution are not taken in this regard the way reports are written could be deliberately altered.

“We have got to be careful about that because investigators could begin to change what they write if what they write begins to be widely distributed,” the Minister noted.

The Minister’s remarks were forthcoming as he responded to questions as to whether reports on maternity death should be made available to persons outside of the health sector. (more…)

Battered woman blames government official’s relative for attack

Posted in Crimes against Women,Domestic Violence,Politics by wiig on January 10, 2011

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

Twenty year old Stephanie Broomes is fearful for her life since she believes that the beating she received last Friday evening was prompted by her ex lover, who is a close relative of a Senior Government official.

On Friday last, at around 8:00 pm, Broomes was allegedly attacked in Dove Square, South Ruimveldt by a total stranger, who mercilessly banged upon her with what appeared to her to be a crowbar. The woman sustained severe injuries to her face and head. According to the mother of one, she was on her way home from work when she noticed a yellow Toyota 212 car driving slowly close to her.

She said that she was suspicious of the car driving so slowly, so she began walking faster. According to Broomes, a man then emerged from the car with a “long metal object”, after which she began to run.

Broomes recalled that she fell and the man came over her and began “beating away on me.” According to the victim, the man mercilessly beat her for approximately seven minutes before residents came to her rescue. (more…)

Women in politics

Posted in Gender Equality,Politics by wiig on January 7, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 07 January 2011)

Mrs Mara Thompson, the widow of the prime minister of Barbados David Thompson, announced last week that she was contesting the January 20, 2011 by-election for the St John parish seat which became vacant on the death of her husband in October last year. The announcement was apparently unexpected in Barbados since some 12 candidates – from the Democratic Labour Party which the late David Thompson had led – had earlier expressed interest in contesting for the constituency, but certainly not surprising around the world; Mrs Thompson has simply joined the ranks of women who have either stepped up their activity, or entered the political arena following the deaths or resignations of their husbands or fathers.

It has been generally held that the women in the lives of male political figures, particularly their wives or daughters, would be in the best position to know the plans these men would have had and perhaps best suited to carry them forward. This was certainly the vibe coming from Mrs Thompson when she announced her willingness to serve the people of the St John parish.

It would have also been for this reason that Sonia Gandhi, widow of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was prodded by his peers in the Indian National Congress party to take his place. Mrs Gandhi only did so six years after her husband’s death, but hers has been a success story. She has been president of the party for 12 years as well as chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, though she declined the post of prime minister for altruistic reasons. (more…)

It now costs over $2,000 a day to feed a family of four, immediate relief is needed

Posted in Culture & Society,Politics by wiig on April 27, 2008
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Stabroek News – April 27, 2008

Dear Editor,

Guyanese families have been feeling the effects of the global food crisis as the cost of living rises severely. Anyone who has gone into the market recently has come home noticing the same amount of money buys much less than before. It now costs over $2000 a day to feed a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) with a breakfast of tea, bread and an egg each. Lunch is a pound of chicken and bora and rice, a snack of fruit and biscuits for the children at school and bread and tea in the evening. A month of food is $60,000, and then there is rent, electricity, water and transportation costs to cover.

Yet the minimum wage is between $18,000 (private sector) to $28,000 (public sector) a month, if you are lucky enough to have one of these jobs regulated by these wages.

As prices for food and electricity skyrocket in Guyana it is increasingly difficult for many families to make ends meet. Those families that were barely scraping by last year are now facing a severe crisis in their homes, and many more families are being thrown into poverty and hunger during this critical time.
Although this is a global food and energy crisis and the cost of living is rising dramatically all over the world, it is the responsibility of the national governments to take action during this global crisis and ease the burden on their populations, especially those who are most vulnerable and in need. This government cannot continue to blame the global situation, repeat the mantra of the millions of dollars allocated to increasing pensions and social assistance payments and fail to implement measures for immediate relief. The budgeted amounts do not amount to lunch money for each household.   (more…)

WPO welcomes appointment of Ministers Rodrigues-Birkett, Sukhai

Posted in Politics by wiig on April 15, 2008
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Guyana Chronicle – April 15, 2008

THE Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO) has welcomed the appointments of Ministers Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Pauline Sukhai with responsibilities for Foreign Affairs and Amerindian Affairs respectively.

The WPO noted: “Minister Rodrigues-Birkett is the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guyana. We are encouraged by this further act of confidence in women expressed by the government. We also recognise that Minister Sukahi’s appointment increases the percentage of women in Guyana’s Cabinet”

The WPO statement also wished Ministers Rodrigues-Birkett and Sukhai full success in their new areas of responsibility and congratulates the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government for its continued efforts to increase the participation of women in decision-making at all levels throughout the country.

GUYWID congratulates Ministers Rodrigues-Birkett, Sukhai

Posted in Politics by wiig on April 14, 2008
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Guyana Chronicle – April 14, 2008

GUYANESE Women in Development (GUYWID), a non-governmental organisation working in the interest of the development of women in Guyana, has joined in congratulating Ministers Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Pauline Campbell Sukhai, on the occasion of their appointments to head the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Amerindian Affairs respectively.

A press release issued by the organisation last Thursday said:

The appointment of Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Pauline Sukhai as Minister of Amerindian Affairs is indeed heartening and inspiring to all Guyanese. Both women of humble backgrounds add to the many other examples of how far Guyanese women have come, and the recognition they have gained as equal partners in the development process.”

“Just a few decades ago, Guyanese women, led by the indomitable Mrs. Janet Jagan, fought for and won the right to vote, and to be elected. As the first woman to be elected to the Legislature in the 1950s, and to become the first female minister of government, Ms. Jagan paved the way for many others to follow.”   (more…)

Carolyn Rodrigues appointed new Minister of Foreign Affairs

Posted in Politics by wiig on April 10, 2008
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– Pauline Sukhai-Campbell takes Amerindian Affairs portfolio
Guyana Chronicle – April 10, 2008

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has named Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues as the country’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, and has handed her Amerindian Affairs portfolio to long-time activist of women and Amerindian rights, Mrs. Pauline Sukhai-Campbell.

The Office of the President made the announcement in a statement yesterday, noting that Minister Rodrigues has become the first woman and the first Amerindian to head the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Rodrigues had served as Minister of Amerindian Affairs since March, 2001 when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic was re-elected to the seat of government for a third straight term. The job of Minister of Foreign Affairs became vacant with the recent retirement of Dr Rudy Insanally, who cited medical and other personal reasons.   (more…)

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