[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security today held an inter-faith service in observance of International day for the elimination of violence against women where subject Minister, Jennifer Webster reiterated that men must recognise the need to treat women with respect and learn to protect them.
She said males should realise that their presence on earth is due to their mother, and in that sense honour them. The ceremony which was held on the lawns of the Ministry at Lamaha and East Streets, Georgetown saw a large gathering of individuals from various religious based organisations, Non Governmental Organisations, staff of the Ministry, and Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), along with other agencies.
The short ceremony comprised prayers by representatives of the Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Bahai communities, songs and poetry, a moment of silence for women who lost their lives due to domestic violence, and remarks from key individuals.
Minister Webster noted that the activity marks the beginning of the 16 days of activism to commemorate the elimination of violence against women.
She said 10 women have thus far died at the hands of their partners for this year whereas last year more than 20 females were killed by their partner due to domestic violence.
The Minister also called for more persons to report incidents of domestic violence as she pointed out that more than 35% of women and girls experience some form of violent behaviour in their lifetime.
In addition, the Minister highlighted the fact that many girls experience some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their loved ones in their own homes. She noted that this causes them to suffer from emotional trauma, which is something they have to live with for their entire lifetime, and this should not happen because home is a place where persons are supposed to feel safe.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, “Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.”
Patrice La Fleur, Guyana’s United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), country representative during brief remarks said that domestic violence is an issue that requires everybody’s attention. She added that parents should ensure their children socialise in such a way, that they respect each other mutually. Further, she noted that there should be equality in education, jobs, values, and beliefs of religious based organisations which sometimes differentiate between the roles of genders.
La Fleur said that violence against women, particularly girls of ages 10-15 years and children having to mother children must be stamped out.
The activity was held under the theme “From peace in the home to peace in the world, let us end gender based violence.” [Extracted and modified from GINA]