TURNING its focus towards the plight of women in Guyana, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) addressed the local situation in observance of the celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday.
Reading the release written by President of GAWL, Ramona Rookhum, was Secretary of the GAWL, Chandrawattie Persaud at the Guyana Bar Association yesterday.
The statement read that in 2018, women continue to face inter-personal violence, rape and sexual assault, unequal pay and are vulnerable to sexual harassment by some men who take advantage of women who perceive themselves as powerless.
The Association believes that while the recent establishment of the Sexual Offences Court in Guyana is effective, it has not proven to be sufficient in curbing a number of age-old issues.
“We are in somewhat a unique position in Guyana in having advanced laws related to protection of women and children, but enforcement still remains a battle for our authorities such as the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
“While we acknowledge that training is undertaken and there is continued commitment to provide safe spaces for women to make reports of abuse at stations, there is still insufficiently serious action taken by the GPF to provide victim support,” the press statement said.
The organization said, too, that many single parent women in Guyana continue to experience limited support and many mothers are forced to seek the intervention of the court in order to ensure that maintenance is paid for the upkeep of a child.
Despite these challenges, the GAWL recommends a heightened level of assertiveness and commended the agencies that have worked tirelessly over the years to assist women to transform their lives.
“The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers wishes to salute the non-governmental organizations and agencies who, throughout the years, have worked along with it in projects and activities in urban and rural areas which provided support to women in Guyana,” the release stated.
“Your efforts go a far way in supporting Guyana’s women and helping to transform their lives, it added.”