May 10, 2015 Editorial
Guyana has become a society in which the murder of female spouses and domestic violence against women in general are common place and the Government seems unduly relaxed and unperturbed by the bloody record.
The alarming rate of spousal murders affecting the country should demand the full and immediate attention of the government but this is not the case in Guyana. Worse, it has not even been a topic of discussion by either political party in the election.
This is ample reason for the populace to distrust politicians. How many more women will have to be murdered by their spouses before the government will present a plan to address what is clearly a national crisis? Action is needed and must be taken now by all to avoid these senseless murders.
Meanwhile, the Opposition is always poised to denounce such actions. Vulgar and crude behaviour by Ministers who threaten to slap and strip women, and other elected officials who show disregard for women expose the reality of a society in which women hold no pride of place.
Words of condemnation have flowed. But recent comments by President Ramotar suggest that the President is either incompetent or does not care about the unethical or immoral behaviour of his ministers and other senior PPP public officials. However, some may want to believe that the strident condemnation by the opposition is motivated by self-interest that if overused, becomes too melodramatic to be taken seriously.
Except for the mindless supporters who tend to believe anything their respective party says, the public has always reacted with disgust and increasing cynicism whenever a woman is murdered by her husband or boyfriend.
The statistics of murdered women in Guyana is alarming. In the first four months of 2015, there have been an unfortunate cluster of spousal murders of which six of the 11 women who have been killed been by their spouse were victims of domestic violence.
It is regrettable to point out that the murderers of women have demonstrated that they have no feelings, compassion or love for their spouses or another human being.
These are truly challenging times for Guyana. The country is at a stalemate in so many ways that it will take a very long time before anyone could see a reduction in domestic violence. In reality, Guyana is a small but troubled country scoring very low on most confidence indicators in a global environment. There is a tremendous obligation on behalf of the political leaders to find a way to help women avoid the dangers that society has placed them in, and also for all of us to work towards a culture of peace, love and reverence for life.
As for murder and crime in general, the people are facing an uphill task of trying to cope with the brutality and the waste of life and to haul the society back from the precipice.
There are reasons too numerous to mention for much of this disregard for life which some believe has been influenced by an indecent, uncaring and unloving society.
It seems as though history has collided with the severe socio-economic and political challenges, including demographic shifts; senseless murders, high unemployment among youths, massive poverty, prevalence and misuse of the state resources; and the adoption of norms that are out of sync with our realities.
Solutions to this malaise cannot come from speeches, sermons, promises, and press releases alone, nor will it come from politicizing murder and mayhem in the country.
Not one or two individuals but everyone including the independent media is responsible to pressure the government to act to end such disorder and lawlessness in society and they must be held responsible for their actions or inactions.
If ever there was a time for a bipartisan approach to problem-solving to crime, especially domestic violence and the murder of women, it is now.
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