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…)


Woman claims self defence in stabbing of husband

Posted in Crimes against Women,Domestic Violence,Judicial by wiig on January 14, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 14 January 2011)

A woman charged over the stabbing of her common-law husband yesterday told a court that the incident occurred as she tried to wrestle the knife away from her drunken partner, who attacked her.

Donna Hunte, a vendor of 7 Rasville, Roxanne Burnham Gardens, was placed on $50,000 bail by acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry. Hunte pleaded not guilty to the charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Kenneth Rogers, when it was read to her at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Sergeant Venetta Pindar, in presenting the police’s case to the court, said Hunte and Rogers live in the same house, but occupy separate bedrooms. Pindar said on January 9, the couple were arguing and Hunte subsequently got a knife and stabbed Rogers. Rogers was later hospitalised and Hunte was arrested and charged.

However, when given a chance to speak, Hunte told the court that Rogers regularly abused her. On the night of the attack, she said, he came home drunk and started the argument. She said that it was Rogers who brandished the knife during the argument and rushed at her. She added that she tried to wrestle the knife away from him, because, “I didn’t know what he woulda do with it.” According to her, it was during this struggle that Rogers was wounded.

After Hunte was placed on bail, the case was adjourned to January 28 for statements.

Forty-six year old man in sex offence against 12-year-old girl

Posted in Crimes against Women,Judicial by wiig on January 12, 2011

resulted from anonymous report to Human Services Ministry

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

JUSTICE Winston Patterson and a mixed jury at the Demerara Assizes yesterday heard that the statutory rape charge against Mohan Lall, called ‘Lloydie’, resulted from an anonymous report to the Human Services Ministry. In the case before them, witness Denise Ralph, of the ministry, testified that on receipt of the report of child molestation, she visited the scene and carried out investigations. The victim and her mother told her that the report was true.

As a consequence, Ralph handed over the matter to the Juvenile section of the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and action.

The prosecution is alleging that the girl is a neighbour of the accused and was in the habit of visiting his home to do odd jobs.

The prosecution, led by Ms. Judith Gildharie-Mursalin, in association with Miss Konyo Sandiford, is saying that the accused had carnal knowledge of the girl between the 1st day of March, 2008, and the 30th day of November, 2008, in the county of Demerara.

Cross-examined by defence counsel, Miss Sonia Parag, witness Ralph testified that the report that reached the Human Services Ministry was anonymous, and declared that such reports are always anonymous.

The hearing continues today.

Late, absent police witnesses disrupt Neesa Gopaul murder PI

Posted in Domestic Violence,Judicial by wiig on January 12, 2011

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

The preliminary inquiry (PI) into the murder of schoolgirl Neesa Gopaul was interrupted yesterday as the witness undergoing cross-examination was late to the hearing, while two others were absent.

Acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry issued an arrest warrant for Inspector of Police Joel David, Corporal Laundry and Assistant Superintendant Jessamy, who are all attached to the Brickdam Police Station.

Prosecutor Robert Tyndall requested an adjournment since the men were absent. Defence attorneys Vic Puran and Bernard De Santos, however, objected, arguing that the prosecution had failed to advance legitimate reasons as to why an adjournment should be granted.

De Santos argued that granting of an adjournment is not an automatic process, but one that should be accompanied by legal principles. According to Puran, the request was made in bad faith and he contended that the behaviour of the prosecution should not be countenanced by the court. He then made a submission that based on the absence of the witnesses, the matter against his client Bibi Shariman Gopaul be discharged. (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…)

She asked for it!

Posted in Commentary,Domestic Violence,Stella Says by wiig on January 12, 2011

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

Just before the “Break the Silence, Stop the Violence” rally last November, I was on television almost daily to promote the rally. As a result, many people would come up to me and tell me their thoughts on the subject of domestic violence. I was more than a bit surprised by the number of women who would insist that if a woman marries a man who she knows is violent or stays in a relationship with a man who is violent – then she deserves the violence.

Do women who stay with abusers deserve the abuse? Let me say up front that this is the wrong question to start with, the questions we should be asking are: Why do assailants terrorize and torture their partners? Why is it that the vast majority of batterers are men and the vast majority of survivors are women? Why does society allow the abuse to continue?

However, for the sake of addressing this widespread belief – that the woman asked for the abuse – let’s list some of the many reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. Many believe that if an abused woman really and truly wanted to leave an abusive relationship, she would pack up her things and go. However, this conclusion ignores the environmental barriers that prevent women from leaving the abuser. (more…)

Man on bail over knife threat to woman

Posted in Crimes against Women,Judicial by wiig on January 11, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 11 January 2011)

A man, accused of threatening a woman with a knife after she refused to give him money, was yesterday placed on $10,000 bail.

Lawrence  Ross, of 575 West Ruimveldt, appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge of threatening behaviour.

It is alleged that on January 6, Ross, while holding a weapon, threatened Francine Mitchell.

Prosecutor Stephen Telford, in stating the facts, told the court that the accused asked Mitchell for some money, which she refused him. Ross, who resides in the same building as Mitchell, got angry and ran into her apartment and threatened her with a knife. Mitchell made a report of the matter and Ross was arrested.

The magistrate placed Ross on bail and transferred the case to Court Six for today.

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…)

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