Thursday, February 09, 2012

Let God be the judge?

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 17 December 2011)

Yet another man in a high position is accused of violence against a woman. I am so completely sick of this garbage that I might literally lose my lunch on the shoes of any of those so-called men who dare to come face to face with me.

A 34-year-old woman has accused Commissioner of Police Henry Greene of sexually abusing her after she went to him for help on a matter involving another police officer and his wife. At the time of writing this column, Greene still held his position as Commissioner of Police. This issue must be investigated and for that investigation to take properly take place, Greene must be out of the picture. If he does not step down as he should, he should be removed.

Let’s think about this logically for a moment. In any other country, if such serious allegations were levelled against the commissioner of police, that person would be immediately removed from his position until an investigation was completed. Why is it that there must be an outcry from the whole country before justice is seen against those accused of wrong-doing in high positions in Guyana?

Greene told the media, “Let God be the judge.” Nah, I think we mere mortals can handle this one. I’d rather see a human judge Greene first then karma can deal its own judgement.

Women should not have to fear those who are sworn to protect them. Greene has faced similar allegations before and here we are again. The slothfulness in addressing this situation (and other violent and demeaning episodes against women by those in high positions) speaks volumes about the situation of women in Guyana.

Let’s face it, there are two choices; allow Greene to continue in his position while no investigation is conducted or remove him and conduct an investigation to finally prove to women that they matter. Anyone want to venture a guess as to which decision will be made?

I am calling on the sisters of Guyana to denounce the incessant violence against women and demand justice for the victims. If Greene is found guilty of rape, he should not only be removed from his position, but he should be jailed for a very long time. That is justice. That is what women want.

This is not about politics or any other gossip and rumours being spread around. This is about finally protecting women. Over the years we have watched as a president treated his wife like dirt, a CEO doctor beat his wife with a chair, a presidential adviser assault a female polling officer and so many more atrocities while those in charge did absolutely nothing to bring about justice for those women.

Why is that? Why is it that the women of Guyana must constantly be abused, tortured, raped and murdered while those who lead this country do absolutely nothing to bring about justice? In fact, those brutal beasts are often rewarded with higher positions. Why is this so?

There can be only one reason – because women are not valuable in the eyes of those who lead the country. If women mattered at all, these men would lose their positions and face the full brunt of the law. It is time for this to stop. It is time for these men to be held accountable for their actions. It is time for the women of Guyana to rise up and demand justice.

I am ready to stand in front of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office with a placard that reads “Justice for Guyana’s Women!” until the day I die if that is what it takes. And I know many, many sisters who are so disgusted with the way things are would happily join me with their own placards.

The DPP herself should be joining the women of Guyana in our pursuit for justice. Is this the Guyana the DPP wants for the women? Is this the Guyana she wants for the future of her own female posterity?

This allegation is no minor situation. This is a very serious state of affairs and its ramifications will be felt throughout the entire country.

We are talking about the ongoing welfare of half of Guyana’s population.

This is what one of my Facebook friends had to say in a discussion about the Greene situation, “If only we as women can put our differences aside and raise our voices to all the ill things women face every day, only then things would change for women to be free from abuses of all types.

It is time that all women regardless of race/class or creed raise our voices so that the law would work for us and bring change to this type of behaviour.”

I could not have said it better myself. To be blunt, I do not see things changing until women are ready to do exactly as my friend suggested.

We must keep building upon that Sisterhood in Guyana to make a powerful force against those who would harm women and against those who would reject or neglect the issues vital for the continued progress of the nation’s females.

Let God be the judge? Wouldn’t that be nice and convenient. Here is what another woman had to say in response to this statement by Greene, “Police Commissioner, we do not want God to be the judge, thank you. A mortal judge would suffice.”

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