I totally support this writer’s point of view. Women make up half or even more than half of the world and I am sure it is not exception in Guyana. Let’s hear some concrete plans about how any government will make it better for women. Women face more poverty, more discrimination in the workplace especially with those bosses who see women as their office wives or slaves. Our Guyanese women demand respect and freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, stronger penalties for men who abuse their wives or children, and life imprisonment with no chance of parole for men who commit incest or involved in child sexual abuse or trafficking.
Politicians are talking race, but very few are talking gender; “women demand equality and all will be held to account”
Georgetown, Guyana November 14th, 2011 — Guyana will never be the same again after November 28th, 2011. It is clear that Guyana is moving towards a true unity government and all citizens should welcome this change. The PPPC will no longer be able to dominate the opposition in the assembly, and this will be to the benefit of all Guyanese. Citizens will witness an end to corruption, bias, mismanagement and fear of retribution as all parties will be motivated to ensure that achievement through merit becomes the order of the day .
One group of Guyanese is not assured change however. One group of Guyanese will have to organize across political parties, develop a national agenda and push for change. That affected group of Guyanese is Guyanese women of all races.
Guyana today has sadly regressed into a male dominated, suffocatingly sexist, bastion of gender discrimination where the objectification of women, the sexual preying on teenage girls, where domestic abuse, salary and promotion discrimination and poverty among women abound.
A place where the judicial system rarely works for women, where women are patronized in the board room if they are present at all, where powerful men of all political persuasions use their wealth and power to ensnare young girls into financially motivated sexual liaisons, where adult women who have long lost the urge to struggle for liberation are co-opted with offers of ‘choice but meaningless’ positions within male dominated institutional enclaves. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part, women are relegated to a place of insignificance in Guyanese society.
A relegation so complete that many women unwittingly contribute to subjugation of their gender by forming disadvantageous alliances with powerful men, by sabotaging other women or by using sexuality as an asset for advancement in the workplace. Unfortunately for many women, the cost of engaging in the fight for liberation has been too high, but now that the fight has evolved into a fight for survival, they will be forced to participate.
And so as November 28th approaches, women of Guyana are urged to make clear their position. We want better enforcement of domestic abuse laws. We insist on enforcement of gender equality legislation already in place. We want courageous women who are beholden only to their constituency to represent us in the highest offices in the land. We want women-owned businesses appropriately represented in the allocation of government contracts. We want low interest loans made to female entrepreneurs. We want enforcement of employee protection laws in the workplace. We want more domestic abuse shelters and counselling for victims and offenders. We want a national “keep your hands to yourself” campaign to teach men and empower women with the knowledge that domestic abuse is unacceptable.
We serve notice to all powerful men who participate in the perverted enticement and exchange of sex for money from young girls. We will name you and shame you. We insist that politicians live up to the promise of affordable housing, more jobs and good schools for our children. We insist on safe neighborhoods. We want women to be an equal part of decision making meetings in every office in the land. We want water flowing in our homes and affordable electricity available when we flip the switch. We want strong role models for our children and we insist on equal opportunity in all aspects of life in Guyana.
The women and girls of Guyana speak with one voice today that we expect real change post election and we will monitor, evaluate, highlight and agitate until our goals are achieved.
We serve notice to all political parties that we are 51% of the country and we will no longer tolerate second class citizenship in this our homeland. We pledge that, “if the women of Guyana are not happy, then politicians will not be happy” and we will not be ignored. We call on all civil society organizations and all women to recognize and support our movement for change. Come November 28th, 2011, change must come for ALL Guyanese. We urge all women to evaluate options carefully, and exercise their democratic right to vote out the PPPC.
©2011 Center for Democracy in Guyana | Georgetown