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|Government moves to financially empower, physically protect women|
|Monday, 02 April 2012 21:30|
--‘Government is committed to the sustained rejection of abuse in any form,’ President Ramotar
THE National Budget for 2012 has proposed that the Single Parent Assistance Programme be expanded to Regions One (Barima/Waini) and Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), where over 400 single mothers stand to benefit. In addition, it is intended that training would be provided to 2,000 women in areas such as small business management, basic accounting, and self-improvement, mainly to improve their capabilities and to afford them the opportunities to be able to source markets for production.
The Women’s Affairs Bureau and the Men’s Affairs Bureau will team up to launch the “No More Black and Blue” campaign; and, in addition, White Zones in several communities would be identified across the country.
“The fact that a number of women are now able to work towards providing a better quality of life for themselves and families through some of our programmes is no small achievement for this government,” Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh pointed out.
Under the Women of Worth (WoW) programme, hundreds of single mothers accessed loans for investment in small businesses. Moreover, the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI) has continued its work on empowering over 230 women through several capacity building programmes offered at the institute, including life skills and, for the first time, information technology.
Moreover, the Single Parent programme under the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) trained 423 parents in cosmetology, computer repairs, and electrical installation.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is seeking to have the domestic violence campaign re-launched soon, in view of the recent cases of abuse that ended fatally for some women.
“So this is something we need to pay attention to,” Human Services Minister, Jennifer Webster told the Guyana Chronice recently. She said the thrust is also intended to sensitise women who are afraid to come forward and speak out.
Minister Webster also noted that the single parent initiative, Women of Worth (WoW), and the recent formation of the constitutional Women and Gender Equality Commission will further promote issues related to the enhancement of the status of women and girls.
President Donald Ramotar had vowed not to sit idly by and allow Guyanese women to continue suffering at the hands of violent spouses, and he called for a reorientation in the way the Guyana Police Force approach and address the issue.
He told staff of the Human Services Ministry last December that government would ensure the effective functioning of the systems that are put in place to provide a safe refuge for women in Guyana.
“It is a criminal and abhorrent act when any woman is abused emotionally, mentally or physically, and no woman should be a victim of sexual or domestic violence," President Ramotar said.
The Head of State said he believes that the police, with whom the responsibility lies to investigate cases of domestic abuse, should know that such issues should be treated with sensitivity; and in that regard, he advocated training for this to be accomplished.
"Too often, people take the position that this is a family matter…we see, in many cases, it ends in murder and loss of life. The government has sought to break the silence on these atrocities, and is committed to the sustained rejection of abuse in any form," he added.
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