I chose Lis to redouble efforts to fight Domestic Violence -Ramotar

I chose Lis to redouble efforts to fight Domestic Violence  -Ramotar

On International Women’s Day, President Donald Ramotar said one of the reasons behind his decision to choose Foreign Affairs Director General Elisabeth Harper as his running mate for the 2015 elections, is to redouble his government’s efforts to fight domestic violence.

Ambassador Harper in a promotional television interview after being selected as the PPP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate said that her first marriage was an abusive one and that was the reason for her decision to walk away from that marriage more than 20 years ago. She said she was physically abused by her first husband but did not explain why she chose to remain silent on the issue of domestic violence for more than two decades.

The President in his International Women’s Day message to the nation said “one of the reasons that I chose Lis Harper to be my Prime Ministerial candidate is that I believe that we need to redouble our efforts in tackling this scourge on our society.  I hoped, by highlighting her own personal story, detailing her own abuse, more women will have the courage to step up and say something.  And by making it a focal point of her campaign and her work over the next five years, we can shine a light and begin to eradicate this scourge from our society.”

“I will continue my strong commitment to eradicating domestic violence. Domestic violence and sexual abuse of women and girls in our country are major impediments towards attaining higher development for Guyana. Under the PPP/C government, there are strong domestic and sexual abuse laws to protect women and girls.”

Over the past years also, Guyana has seen a significant increase in cases of domestic violence. Over the past few years, several women lost their lives to abusive partners. The government has been urged to do more in the fight against domestic violence and for there to be a broader response to the issue.

 

SEE President’s full message for International Women’s Day below: 

“I am proud to celebrate “International Women’s Day 2015″ and the many accomplishments of the women of Guyana. Few countries in the world can boast of a former female President, Vice President, Chief Justice and a Chancellor of the Judiciary, and first female Judge at the Caribbean Court of Justice. 
Our nation has a rich history of strong women, who have helped shape Guyana.

These women, who have come from all races, political parties and regions of this country show what we as one nation can accomplish, if we work together.

Today, we remember Kowsilla (Alice), who was killed, while struggling for better wages for women. We remember the struggle for Universal Adult Suffrage, and the women who led the fight. Let us not forget Janet Jagan, who fought for the development of women in our society and their empowerment.
We proudly recognise the contributions of tens of thousands of Guyanese women, who are our caregivers, who make our villages safer and our families stronger.

I am proud of my administration’s efforts and my commitment to ensuring that there be gender equality for all women in Guyana. Asking Ambassador Elisabeth Harper to run with me and serve as Prime Minister is a testament to my continued commitment and the PPP/C’s commitment to further our efforts, at addressing issues impacting Guyana’s women. Our laws, regarding equality for women and protection for women against violence and discrimination have been internationally recognised. We have created an environment, where single parent women can thrive in small businesses, through a micro credit programme called WOW, Women of Worth. We are pleased that we have expanded legal aid services, where now, women in most regions of the country, can have access to justice. Today, Guyana has attained gender parity in education at our schools.

Women have achieved equity in professional life.

I will continue my strong commitment to eradicating domestic violence. Domestic violence and sexual abuse of women and girls in our country are major impediments towards attaining higher development for Guyana. Under the PPP/C government, there are strong domestic and sexual abuse laws to protect women and girls. One of the reasons that I chose Lis Harper to be my Prime Ministerial candidate is that I believe that we need to redouble our efforts in tackling this scourge on our society.  I hoped, by highlighting her own personal story, detailing her own abuse, more women will have the courage to step up and say something.  And by making it a focal point of her campaign and her work over the next five years, we can shine a light and begin to eradicate this scourge from our society.

International Women’s Day is a day for celebration throughout Guyana, and a day to recognise all that women have done, to create a stronger, safer and stable Guyana.  But we also must use this day to remember all that we still must do, to build on the advances Guyana has made for equality for all women. The path to equality for all never ends, and we have travelled far up the path, but I promise, that we as a nation, will never stop moving forward on that path.”

Filed: 8th March, 2015

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