No place for violence against women, it must stop – Prime Minister Phillips

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, said Guyana will not condone any acts of violence against women.

The Prime Minister was speaking during the launch of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Community Advocate Network “CAN” initiative held at the Parliament building, Georgetown, on Wednesday.

Ministers and members of the diplomatic corps taking a stand against gender-based violence at the launch of ‘CAN’ at the Parliament building, Georgetown.

“Violence against women and girls has no place in the 21st century, no place in the developing Guyana. And I take this opportunity to add my voice against violence against women and girls in our society. It must stop now.”

The ‘CAN’ initiative is the brainchild of Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.  It seeks to assist victims of gender-based violence and eradicate the various dimensions of violence at an individual, community, family and country levels with assistance of survivors’ advocates.

Advocates are trained with the responsibility of ensuring victims are aware of their rights and services that are available through the ministry.

CAN is part of the ministry’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign that commenced on November 25, 2021.

Meanwhile, other ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, who attended the event added their voices in the stand against gender-based violence.

Ministers and members of the diplomatic corps taking a stand against gender-based violence at launch of ‘CAN’, held at the Parliament building, Georgetown.

Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai, MP, encouraged women to not be ashamed of their exposure to violence. She also declared that she will continue to be an advocate against violence.

“I have started my career actually as a domestic violence and woman advocate. I want to say to women, your situation in terms of experiencing violence is never to be ashamed of or embarrassed. All of us in some form including myself have experiences of violence. I have done my work and I continue to advocate in many ways against violence.”

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, MP, assured women that the laws of Guyana are there to protect them. Persons were also urged to spread awareness of these existing laws.

“I wanted to stand with everyone who is standing here today against gender-based violence and violence against women and girls in society. It is easy to stand up and say enough is enough and it should stop now, but I think individually, if we can help one person in our community it goes a long way.

The law stands with those who are victimised from domestic violence and there is a legal avenue that can be taken, many women and our girls don’t know that. So, go into your community and spread awareness, I think that is most important when we can let people know how they can be helped and let them know that there is someone there who is supporting them.”

Meanwhile members of the diplomatic corps also pledged their support in the fight against domestic violence.

British Ambassador to Guyana, Jane Miller committed her support to the government in its efforts to eradicate the scourge.

“The UK government stands with you, and I pledge on behalf of the British High Commission to do all we can to end violence against women and girls.”

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman said he will ensure he spreads awareness starting with the male members of his family.

“I want to thank the ministry, the minister and the Government of Guyana for this initiative. It goes without saying that Canada fully supports this, we want to be in the position to educate including my sons and any other males in our family to ensure that this never happens and we’re deeply committed to this initiative.”

The United States Government will support the government’s initiative, Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch, told the gathering.

“The US Government is supportive of all that you are doing. I can, you can, we can, I love it.”

Other initiatives implemented by the ministry during its ongoing 16 days of activism against domestic violence, included the launch of the ‘Orange the World’ filter on Facebook, candle light vigil for those who died due to domestic violence, media events, and book launches.

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