Dec 04, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – The Women and Gender Equality Commission has called on all Guyanese to redouble their efforts in working together to reduce gender based violence.
From November 25 to December 10, the Commission joined millions of persons worldwide in commemorating the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The United Nation’s theme recognizes that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation that has been perpetuated for decades.
The decision by the UN to recognize November 25 is to honour the three Mirabel sisters who were murdered by the Trujillo regime in 1960. They created a catalyst for organizations to use this observance to bring attention to the systemic violation of women and girls.
The WGEC noted that the first UN world conference in 1980 and the three subsequent conferences heard the voices of women from all over the world affirming that gender-based violence is a violation of their human right, which is unacceptable, intolerable and unjustifiable.
In Guyana, prior to 1996, gender-based violence was considered a family affair. The research undertaken by Danns/Shivpersaud in 1989 affirmed that two out of every five women in the country experienced some type of violence.
The Domestic Violence Legislation that was passed in 1996 provided some respite to this problem where violence moved out of the realm of the private sphere to that of a criminal offence.
Twenty-four years after, the country continues to harbour attitudes that perpetuate violence against women and girls. The release stated that Guyanese women experience interpersonal violence at significantly high rates than the global average of one in three women.
In analyzing this problem, WGEC highlighted that one has to recognize that the country inherited its legal system from European colonists who believed that women were inferior to men.
“The law is not gender neutral but retains a deep structure that is patriarchal. This is the elephant in the room which needs to be addressed,” the release stated.
WGEC urge all decision makers in the various institutions of Guyana to denounce the culture of tolerance for violence against women and girls by ensuring they take the requisite actions to name and shame those guilty of perpetuating such actions. The Commission stressed that sufficient resources should be allocated towards providing assistance and remedies of victims. WGEC emphasized that the laws that protect women needed to be enforced and must be able to access justice. The Commission call on the parents and care givers to re-examine the way they socialize their sons by ensuring that negative stereotype such as “boys will be boys’ and “boys must not cry” are discouraged. Both father and mother should play a meaningful role in the lives of their children, WGEC reminded.
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