Women's Issues In Guyana

Perhaps Rev. Gilbert should practice what he preaches

Guyana Chronicle – April 7, 2008

Dear Editor,

As I read Reverend Kwame Gilbert’s essay on societal structure (April 6, Guyana Chronicle) and the means by which he feels society is constructed and then reconstructed, I could not help but note the irony that the female contribution to society was completely neglected until the very end — as if nothing more than an afterthought.

Gilbert asserts in his essay that although Guyanese society was constructed one way by men of the past, it can be better reconstructed by men today. He refers to the contributions of men to society over and over again throughout his essay and only brings women in as he ends his writing.

It appeared as if he only realised – perhaps after proofreading his article – that he should have included women as reconstruction workers in a better Guyana (he never once acknowledged their part in the original construct). (more…)


This must not happen

Posted in Crimes against Women,Gender Equality,Religion by wiig on April 7, 2008
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Guyana Chronicle – April 7, 2008

Dear Editor,

Am I the only one that read this article? Members of a Muslim organization met with ERC commissioner Bishop Juan Edghill and they are proposing polygamy be introduced in the Muslim community in Guyana? Where do these people think they live? In Saudi Arabia or the Middle East, where this practise is quite common?

I have a question. If polygamy is indeed approved as they wish, are Muslim women free to take as many husbands as they want? Where are the women’s organizations? Why aren’t they outraged about this?

I also read they want to sanction marriages of girls who are under the age of consent. Isn’t this pedophilia? What are the GHRA and the children’s welfare protection agency stand on this issue?

It is like the caste system and bride burnings in India or the sexual abuse of young boys in the Catholic Church. These things are morally and ethically wrong and must be condemned most vigorously.


Muslims tell ERC they want polygamy institutionalized

Posted in Culture & Society,Religion by wiig on April 2, 2008
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Stabroek News – April 2, 2008

Muslim leaders told the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) that they are concerned about religious intolerance displayed by some employers who are reluctant to grant Muslim employees time-off to pray on Fridays and they also called for polygamy to be institutionalized.

According to an ERC press release, Chairman Bishop Juan Edghill said the group had received similar complaints before but had managed to settle the specific issues amicably. However, he said there was greater need for religious sensitivity towards Muslims and other religious practices.

Meanwhile, Private Sector representative at the ERC L John P Willems said the crossing of cultures is necessary to dispel suspicion and foster harmony in a multicultural society like Guyana. Willems told the Muslim constituency at the ERC’s annual constituency consultation, held at its Secretariat on Thursday, that emphasis must be placed on exploring “the richness of our multicultural diversity” rather than a preoccupation with one’s own culture. He said despite the ‘mixing’ in business transactions and other areas Guyanese “seldom get an opportunity to really understand the intricate details of each other’s culture.” He urged Muslim leaders to use the medium of television to explore this option.   (more…)

Mothers’ Union AGM tomorrow

Posted in Culture & Society,Religion by wiig on January 27, 2008
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Kaieteur News – January 27, 2008

Under the theme, ‘Time for Relationships’, the Mothers’ Union in Guyana will be hosting its Annual General Meeting, tomorrow and Tuesday, at Hotel Tower. This year marks 82 years of the organization’s existence here.

At the end of the two-day session, there will be a launching of a ‘Medical Assistance Fund.’ This fund is set up to help persons who are in need of medical assistance but cannot afford the cost.

At the event also, there will be the presentation of the president’s report, reports from regional officers along with financial reports.
Former Head Mistress of the Bishops’ High School, Rev. Maureen Massiah will be the guest speaker at the event.

Development of branches and plans for the year ahead will also be discussed. (more…)

Sexual offences dominate consultation with religious bodies

Posted in Law Enforcement,Legislation,Religion by wiig on January 24, 2008
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Kaieteur News – January 24, 2008

While some police officers do an excellent job at assisting rape victims, there are others that do ‘very crappy’ work, says Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Priya Manickchand.

The Minister was at the time speaking with religious leaders from different organisations, who turned out in their numbers yesterday to be part of the ‘Stamp It Out’ consultation hosted at the Ethnic Relations Commission.

She says that some police officers ask victims all sorts of ‘foolish’ questions, intimidating them even as they are making their report.
The Minister says that there are deficiencies with both the police and judicial systems when it comes to dealing with issues of rape. After a brief presentation by the Minister, members from the various organizations made their contributions to the proposal to strengthen protection against sexual violence.

Attitude change, Minister Manickchand noted, is very necessary in Guyana’s society. (more…)