Countrywide community engagements planned to propel ‘spotlight initiative’
As work continues to progress on the ‘spotlight initiative’ in Guyana, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, along with representatives of the European Union and United Nations, on Friday last interacted with various groups and community members for feedback on the programme.
As part of the initiative, a series of community engagements are planned across the country. The process has already started and the latest interaction took place during Minister Persaud’s outreach to the Grove/Diamond, East Bank Demerara communities.
The representatives were able to share key information with residents all geared towards eradicating violence against women and girls. The team shared some of Guyana’s statistics that show how one in two women would have experienced some level of violence in their lifetime; 55 per cent of women experienced such at some point in their lives.
Minister Persaud made a presentation, along with UN Resident Coordinator, Mikiko Tanaka, the representative of the EU and other officers based at the UN Mission in Guyana. Persons were not only provided the relevant information through the exercise but were able to benefit from interactive sessions afterwards, thus providing feedback to the team of issues peculiar to each community.
The spotlight initiative was signed by the Government of Guyana, EU and UN in October last year and is a three-year programme funded by the EU. Guyana is one of six Caribbean countries to benefit from the initiative and Minister Persaud had said that the initiative will open doors for a multi-sectoral approach.
“We will investigate every report of sexual and domestic abuse against women and girls and the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) will be doing everything to end this scourge. I urge the public to not hesitate to report cases of abuse,” she had urged.