After initially standing its ground on a decision to fire three city constables because they became pregnant within two years of their employment, the Georgetown City Constabulary has withdrawn the dismissals in wake of a huge public outcry and a backlash from government, the opposition and a number of social activists.
The three constables were reinstated earlier today following a meeting at City Hall. They were given their letters of dismissal earlier this week after the City Constabulary declared that their pregnancy is against the constabulary’s policy.
The City Constabulary pregnancy policy states that constables are prohibited from becoming pregnant during the first two years of their employment.
Social Activist Mark Benschop who led a protest against the policy yesterday, has welcomed the decision to reinstate the three women. He said the antiquated policy needs to be thrown out since it is discriminatory.
Minister of Social Protection, Simona Broomes also expressed her shock over the existence of such a policy and said she intends to fully probe the situation and push for changes. The Progressive Women’s Organisation which is the women’s arm of the People’s Progressive Party also lashed out at the policy.
News Source understands that the City Council intends to push for the policy to be reexamined. But this was not the first time that the City Constabulary dismissed women for going against the pregnancy policy. There were at least two other cases which were investigated by the Gender and Equality Commission.
But a similar policy also exists in the security forces of Guyana and there are calls by rights activists for those to also be reexamined.