(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 22 May 2011)
In a world where the female population often outnumbers the male
population, it is an immense travesty of the human race that “men rule
the world.” In Guyana, where the female population has taken a nose dive
in the last decade, the aforementioned travesty becomes a crime against
It is my opinion that as long as men alone roam the corridors of power,
women will continue to live their lives as second rate citizens, as
beating posts for the men and as the lower wage earners.
There are umpteen other demeaning and degrading roles that women are
forced to play to entertain men and to feed the male ego, all of which
relegate women to a subservient status. It is a disgrace. It is unjust.
And it is because women do not vote.
For far too long, women had no voice in the home, in religion or in the
matters of politics. The very fact that I am writing this column is
proof that this is no longer the case. However, though women may have
the opportunity to have a voice, it does us no good at all if we do not
use that voice.
It is not good enough just to know that if we wanted to speak up, we
could. We must speak up if we desire genuine change for our gender. We
shake our heads when the neighbour beats his wife. We want to do
something, but we are afraid of the same beating. We must vote if we
want to see change.
We know very well that the man who was hired to do the same job is being
paid more just because he is a man, but if we demand equal wage we
could lose our job. We must vote if we want to see change.
We bear the progeny of the human race and are denied maternity leave
because it is a man who runs the company and a man who made the laws and
a man who enforces the law. We must vote if we want to see change.
Our daughters are raped by men who care little about the psychological
and physical impact it will have on the girl – sometimes these men are
even related to the girl. Then they want to pay the girl off, as if she
were a prostitute instead of an innocent soul. We must vote if we want
to see change.
The religions of this world are run by men. The finances of this world
are run by men. The businesses of this world are run by men. The courts
of this world are run by men. The legislative bodies of this world are
run by men. The countries of this world are run by men. We must vote if
we want to see change.
Where does this leave women? Take a good look around and see. Look at
your mother, your sister, your neighbour, your co-worker. Is she valued
by her spouse, her boss, the police, the judge, the minister of
government or the president of the country? We all know very well that
too often she is not. We must vote if we want to see change.
To accept this bleak situation as our future is the same as bowing in
submission to the male rulers who want to keep us subservient. Not all
men fit this role, but it is obvious that if the male rulers of this
world were looking out for the best interest of women that life would be
far better for us than it is right now.
If we want to change our situation, it is vital to vote. Do your
research and vote for the candidate who best represents women and the
issues most vital to us. If a candidate has not taken a public stance on
women’s issues, it means that candidate has no regard for the topic. Do
not vote for such a candidate.
Register to vote, ladies. Take your sister, mother, grandma, aunties and
all your girlfriends with you when you register. And vote. When you do
vote, do not vote based on race. Do not vote for a candidate because
she/he is in the party your parents and grandparents supported.
Do not vote based on the fear-mongering tactics of politicians. Don’t
play into their twisted game. Don’t let them mess with your head. Be
smarter than that. Vote for the candidate who is going to best represent
you as a woman in Guyana.
Find the energy you need to take a stand for yourself in this election
season. Do not allow apathy to decide the future for Guyana’s women. The
women of Guyana should decide their own future and it starts by voting.