Female security guards forced to perform sexual favours to keep jobs
The Women and Gender Equality Commission today raised concerns with females being molested while working night shifts.
At a forum hosted by the Department of Labour under the theme “Repositioning the Elderly and Single Mothers within the Private Security Services”, Member of the Commission, Nicole Cole highlighted the plight faced by females working in the security sector at nights.
Cole, who is a clinical social worker, recapped a story published in a local daily newspaper, which outlined that the men, who work as midnight checkers will request sexual favours once they catch the female guards sleeping.
“The Midnight Checker was a tall, thin, inoffensive-looking man appropriately known as Stilt. His clothing usually carried the odour of a mix of stale perspiration and alcohol. Once he caught a female guard sleeping that choice open to the hapless victim was to yield to his sexual demands or else endure a loss of pay for the offence of sleeping on duty. There were stories of quite a few female guards, whom, having felt the material loss of a few hours’ worth of wages from time to time but who were still unable to stay awake on their shifts, had simply surrendered themselves to stilt [name given to the sexual predator],” she related.
Quoting the article published in January of this year, Cole said the issue was taken up with management of the security firms but brought no solution. President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Lincoln Lewis warned the security personnel that sexual exploitation in any form is wrong and should be dealt with.
“Those men who find a woman sleeping and extract sexual favours from them…these things are wrong and must be condemned all the way.”
One security service owner who is also a part of the Guyana Association of Private Security Organisations (GAPSO), Roshan Khan accepted that this is one of the common issues faced in the industry.
“Oh gosh, we in the security industry management, we know them (sexual predators), we have had them around…I had a retired…senior police officer working with us, was the worst sexual predator we have ever seen in the history of my company.”
However, in an effort to address the issue, he noted that a female was placed as the General Manager of the R.K Security company, and urged others to do so.