Project launched to protect women, girls and Indigenous persons in Guyana

The Justice Education Society in collaboration with the Canadian government and the Home Affairs Ministry today launched their ‘Strengthening Justice for Women, Girls, and Indigenous Peoples in Guyana’ project.

The project is geared towards promoting equal access to justice for these groups, as well as empowering them to be less vulnerable to violence.

Strengthening Justice for Women, Girls and Indigenous Peoples in Guyana project launched

It will focus on upskilling justice actors in responding to issues related to Sexual and Gender-Based violence (SGBV) targeting women and girls. Moreover, the project will endeavour to build the capacity of indigenous women and leaders in remote communities where there is inadequate access to justice.

The overall aim is to reduce the level of liberty for severe violence against women while improving access to justice for these vulnerable groups.

The primary beneficiaries of the project are estimated at over 10,000 women and girls living in indigenous communities in the hinterland.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn

In delivering brief remarks, Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn, emphasised the importance of developing safe spaces to foster self-sufficiency and success among women, girls and indigenous people.

He noted,“I think these groups have the most precarious lives in Guyana at the moment. The women, suffering from gender-based violence, and the indigenous people, who are more impacted by poverty, and lack access to these services to improve their lives and livelihood. Therefore, this partnership is particularly welcoming at this time.”

Minister Benn also highlighted the need for greater empathy, representation and appreciation for women, girls and indigenous peoples.

“This effort, particularly in relation to strengthening justice for women, girls and indigenous people, will go a long way towards bringing us to a position of increasing the peace in Guyana. We don’t intend to increase peace by utilising the strong arm of the law. It requires a big change in policing, a big change in attitude, and a big change totally in the culture of our society. We need to do some introspection on who we are as Guyanese and where we have to go.”

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman stated that equal access to justice is necessary for inclusive governance.

“True equality will not be possible until everyone, regardless of their place in society is able to access full and equal protection under the law,”he said.

The launch was held at the Umana Yana. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, S.C., and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas were also in attendance.