Women trade unionists call for more action to stop domestic violence
The Women’s Advisory Committee of the Guyana Trades Union Congress has called for institutional strengthening and support towards the elimination of domestic violence. It has also called for the achievement of gender equity and respect.
“Persons placed in these unfortunate situations are victims, needing of support and help,” the Committee said in a statement yesterday.
It noted recent news reports of domestic violence which lead to deaths, injuries and psychological scars. These are merely a microcosm of the injustices and inequities that pervade the society, it added.
The Committee said that domestic violence affects women from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds and “that the victims need assurances that they are not alone, help can be achieved, and justice served.”
The Committee called for the rigid enforcement of the laws against domestic violence and said the society also needs urgent educational strengthening at the community, group and individual levels that would help in identifying the problem(s) which include the rights, roles and responsibilities of the victim, victimiser and observer; how to seek assistance; and get support to end the violation.
“There is need to form partnership with community and health centers; create and make more accessible hot-lines; increase help shelters and counseling services; incorporate it in the education curricula, industrial relations/human resources departments, political parties, religious and other civic organisations,” the Committee suggested.
“It is time to break the silence and get everyone involved by spreading the message in the highways and byways.”
The Committee quoted the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which stated that “gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims.
“It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices.”
The group said that women are society’s mothers, nurturers and bread winners and deserve to be treated as equals, and with respect and dignity.
The women trade unionists noted that what happens at home impacts what happens in the workplace, school and wider society.
“An abused person not only has to grapple with the violation of self but it also impacts her self-worth, coping with issues, her relationship with others, performance and productivity,” the Committee stated.
The Committee called on men from all backgrounds to join in the fight against domestic violence.