Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Guyana launches programme to end gender-based violence

Published:Saturday | November 25, 2017 | 12:13 PM

Guyana has launched a 16-day campaign aimed at the elimination of violence against women.

“There have been too many brutal acts of violence against women and girls,” Social Protection Minister Amna Ally said, noting that the move to end violence against women is a social, political and civic duty of everyone.

“While some of these cases have captured national headlines, too often the victims are left to suffer in silence and anonymity. Together, we can and will make the progress needed to eliminate this scourge on our society.”

She acknowledged that by not confronting the issues of gender discrimination, other efforts to resolve the economic, political, and governance issues will not be viable.

“If we do not address gender inequalities and discrimination against women it will become almost impossible to accomplish Goal 5 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls thus, impeding the development of our nation.”

The government says together with its local and international partners, it has been implementing crucial mechanisms through the establishment of the Sexual Offences Court and the recent adoption of the Model Guidelines for Sexual Offences in the Caribbean.

It said these will further facilitate the implementation of international conventions Guyana has ratified, in order for our domestic laws and plan of action to effectively tackle sexual and domestic violence.

Ally noted that these model guidelines form part of a comprehensive approach to improve the management of sexual offence cases and the treatment of witnesses and survivors of sexual offences.

Sita Nagamootoo, the wife of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, has urged society to speak out against violence against women.

“Guyana has laws and we must demand strict enforcement of same against perpetrators of violence against girl and women. But this is not a problem that can be successfully solved by governmental agencies authorities alone. It requires a collective effort by all stakeholder.”

She called on religious leaders and social workers to lend themselves to providing professional assistance, and moral and spiritual comfort to those suffering from violence.

In recognition of the ‘16 Days of Activism’, which officially begins Saturday the Ministry of Social Protection in collaboration with its partners, will host several activities to raise public awareness and mobilise stakeholders throughout Guyana.

The activities will be held under the theme, ‘Leave no one behind, let’s collaborate to eradicate gender-based violence”.