‘Justice for our girls’ – Women march in solidarity to stamp out abuse

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By Bibi Khatoon

A significant number of women and men marched from the Square of the Revolution, Vlissengen Road along Brickdam to the Stabroek Market Square on Saturday afternoon in solidarity with women who have been abused.

The ‘Justice for our Girls solidarity march,’ was organsied by the Students’ Society Against Human Rights Violation and Life In Leggings Caribbean Alliance Against Gender Based Violence, as part of International Women’s Day activities for this year.

Social and Human Rights activist, Akola Thompson

“We march against persons in positions of trust and power, whose actions constitute violence against women. We’re talking about those teachers, those family members, those religious leaders who would use their positions of trust to sexually violate and sexually groom…all those employers and the big politicians and their children who use their positions of power to constitute violence against women,” Social and Human Rights activist, Akola Thompson told those gathered.

As it relates to persons in power who abuse their positions, Thompson referred to a recent case in St Vincent and the Grenadines where a 22-year-old former model, Yugge Farrell was sent to a Mental Health Centre after she allegedly used abusive language to the wife of Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves, on January 4.

The gathering was also addressed by Marva Langevine, founder of Guyana Golden Lives Organisation which works with bereaved, sick and underprivileged children and families.

Langevine pointed out that any form of abuse “results in health, emotional and behavioral issues as well as social and economic costs.”

Marva Langevine, founder of Guyana Golden Lives Organisation

She said while the Government has made some strides to address the issue, “due to an inhumane social culture, many widows and orphan girls suffer mistreatment and discrimination in silence right here in Guyana.”

On March 9, the Women and Gender Equality Commission presented its findings on gender laws in Guyana. At that forum, the need for culture change was one of the major points raised to curb the problem of gender-based violence in Guyana.

The event saw various presentations on the rights of women and girls.

International women’s day was observed under the theme “Press for Progress” on March 08.

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