(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 26 November 2011)
The elections are upon us and this year has seen more focus on
women’s issues on the political platforms than ever before. This is how
it should be and even more so until women are safe and hold equal status
in all spheres of life. As such, I combed through the manifestos of
each party to see what Guyana’s leaders had to offer the women.
column highlights what each party has stated it will specifically do
for the women of the nation in the next term. Key issues pertaining to
women will be addressed with the coordinating
response from the parties according to their manifestos. If there is no
answer provided for the issue, it will be noted.
(Note: Each party’s manifesto response is listed alphabetically by the party’s acronym.)
AFC – Establish legal aid support for women who are victims of domestic
violence systems and a rescue support fund during rehabilitation.
Increase the number of shelters and care centres available to women in
trauma. Establish and implement a Family Court to address the specific
needs of women. Enact a Family Law Act to deal with common law unions,
child support and the custody of children, spouse maintenance and the
resolution of property disputes. Establish systems to ensure earlier
intervention by social services in disputes and the collection of data
to determine causes of domestic violence, identification and
implementation of solutions. (Page 31) Train and empower the police to
respond more effectively to domestic violence. (Page 17)