Leave No One Behind! #Orangetheworld

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, December 10, 2017

The fight to eliminate violence against women and girls was the focus of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, (GNNL)’s ‘Leave No One Behind; #Organgetheworld’ programme, on December 9.

(From left to right) Master of Ceremonies, Sherod Duncan, Public Relation Officer Ministry of Business, Joseph Harmon, Minister of State, Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo, wife of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Simona Broomes, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Maxine Graham DSM, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Chairman GNNL Board of Directors, Tageram Mohabir, News Editor, Guyana Chronicle

Wife of the Prime Minister Sita Nagamootoo, in her feature address under the theme, ‘Empowerment and Gender Quality’, noted that local women must be empowered. She explained that empowerment means that women should become decision-makers, and not the objects of decisions imposed upon them.

Mrs. Nagamootoo noted that ‘Gender Equality’ offers women the opportunity to share the responsibilities, the tasks and even the burdens, of their male counterparts.

“We not only help to make decisions regarding our home and our children, but we are able to be economic partners in family planning, co-workers and co-managers in workplace organizations and a powerful social force in community development”, Mrs. Nagamootoo stated.

Mrs. Nagamootoo emphasised that society must press ahead with the eradication of social practices that affect gender equality and for improved laws to be enacted, for the safety and protection of all women. She stressed, “This must not be an effort to serve the upper or middle classes alone. We must promote empowerment among women at the grassroots, in the interior and in the riverain areas.”

She noted that efforts to promote self-empowerment through employment and training opportunities need to be championed by the state, private sector, non-government organisations and international donors.  Mrs. Nagamooto called for the establishment of facilities across Guyana to ensure women maintain good physical and emotional health and benefit from cultural and sports activities.

She also called on female media operatives to be aware of their role in fighting against domestic violence and supporting human rights issues. She said, “To the women in the media. You have a challenging task of helping to counter these negative perceptions”.

In brief remarks, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon noted that the government has allocated resources and provided facilities to start tackling the issue domestic violence

Minister Harmon gave recognition to shelters that are currently assisting victims of domestic violence, the training of police ranks (men and women) and the upgrades of police stations across the country. These, he explained, will continue during 2018, to better deal with reported cases and victims.

GNNL’s Chairperson, Geeta Chandan -Edmond explained that during her years as a magistrate, often times when cases are called before the court, evidence is not given against preparators, which should never be the case.

She described Gender Equality as the first step in fighting against violence again women and explained that ‘The Domestic Violence Act’ alone cannot eliminate this scourge against society.

“I encourage women to be strong from the heart and think from the mind. Embrace yourselves and believe in yourself”, Chandan-Edmond encouraged

Also making brief remarks were Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings and Assistant Commissioner of Police Maxine Graham, DSM.

The forum, hosted in the GNNL compound, saw several of the attendees holding aloft bright coloured orange balloons. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. ‘Orange Day’ calls upon civil society, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), but every month.

Members of the Audience showing support for the eradication of violence against women.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

 

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