‘Intimidation, bullyism, abuse’ being faced by women in the workplace must end- WPO

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The Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO) has come out in condemnation of reports they are receiving of women being bullied by officials in their place of work.

Jonellor Bowen

Moreover, the Organisation condemned the recent revocation of Jonellor Bowen’s appointment of Linden Town Clerk at the hands of Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan and used her dismissal as an example of the challenges some women face in the workplace.

According to the WPO, “we were shocked to learn that just days before the Minister’s action, written statements by members of the staff, all women, were submitted to the Ministry of Communities, complaining of the bullyism, abuse, intimidation and downright disrespect that they suffered at the hands of Linden Town Mayor, Mr. Carwyn Holland.”

Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan

The WPO questioned “why didn’t the Minister investigate this matter? Are women to suffer in silence under this government? Since the Town Clerk was the person who headed the Administration and delivered the letters, she became the victim. It can, therefore, be surmised that the Minister’s actions and subsequent statements to the media (the Town Clerk did not understand her role) was meant to ‘teach her and all other women in the local government system a lesson’ and get them to toe the line or go?”

The Women’s Organization is calling for the immediate establishment of the Local Government Commission, since according to them “its absence allowed the Minister to assume the authority that has caused women to be disadvantaged.”

Linden’s Mayor, Carwyn Holland

Furthermore, they are calling for an independent investigation to be launched to determine the veracity of the allegations made against Linden’s Mayor, Carwyn Holland and for “The Women and Gender Equality Commission to use its constitutional mandate to determine the true state of treatment meted out to women in the work place and to mount educational programmes with a view of eliminating such unacceptable behaviour.”

See WPO’s full statement below:

Our working women must be protected from bullyism in the workplace by officials, who are seemingly protected by the current Coalition government, despite the many complaints to the various subject ministers and Permanent Secretaries, as well as complaints made in the public domain.

The Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO) notes with great concern the recent action taken by Mr. Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Communities, who revoked, without notice, the appointment of the Linden Town Clerk Ms. Jonellor Bowen. Minister Bulkan acted without justification, arbitrarily and unilaterally even when there is a Local Government Commission Act that has been assented to and is part of the legal framework.

It is a known fact that the majority of staff in the local government system are women – professional women, single mothers and women who have empowered themselves and are applying their skills to earn a living and take care of their families.

We were shocked to learn that just days before the Minister’s action, written statements by members of the staff, all women, were submitted to the Ministry of Communities, complaining of the bullyism, abuse, intimidation and downright disrespect that they suffered at the hands of Linden Town Mayor, Mr. Carwyn Holland.

Why didn’t the Minister investigate this matter? Are women to suffer in silence under this government? Since the Town Clerk was the person who headed the Administration and delivered the letters, she became the victim. It can, therefore, be surmised that the Minister’s actions and subsequent statements to the media (the Town Clerk did not understand her role) was meant to ‘teach her and all other women in the local government system a lesson’ and get them to toe the line or go?

The WPO for the last sixty-four years has championed the cause of women’s rights, and rejects this callous, insensitive and anti-women’s actions and denounces it. This kind of behaviour has no place in society in this enlightened age.

We were further advised that this professional woman was the subject of an investigation in 2016 that cleared her of any wrong doings, was returned to work in March, 2017 and twenty-three days later, was fired at a seminar she was invited to attend at the Ministry of Communities in her capacity as Town Clerk.

This despicable act raises many questions and certainly will not be tolerated by progressive forces that worked tirelessly for our women’s empowerment in Guyana.

The WPO therefore calls for the following:

  1. The immediate establishment of the Local Government Commission. Its absence allowed the Minister to assume the authority that has caused women to be disadvantaged.
  1. An independent investigation to be launched to determine the veracity of the allegations made against Linden’s Mayor, Mr. Carwyn Holland about his disrespectful and abusive behaviour towards female employees of the Linden Town Council.
  1. The Women and Gender Equality Commission to use its constitutional mandate to determine the true state of treatment meted out to women in the work place and to mount educational programmes with a view of eliminating such unacceptable behaviour.

We call upon all our enlightened brothers who have journeyed with us (the WPO) and made way for women’s empowerment and through various initiatives, support our efforts, to join forces with us in denouncing this kind of behaviour.

The WPO also calls on all women everywhere, regardless of affiliation, to reject bullyism, intimidation and abuse from bosses and superiors in their work places and to stand in solidarity with those who dare to speak up.  All organisations that represent women and advocates for women’s rights to should denounce Minister Bulkan’s actions as it relates to the revocation of Ms. Jonellor Bowen’s appointment.

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