Monday, July 4, 2011

Ramotar pledges to sustain the struggle for women’s equality

PPP/C Presidential Candidate Donald Ramotar said his party has always had enlightened policies on women’s issues and that the struggle must continue for equal rights and protection of women despite the many gains that have been made.
“It was the PPP that first put women’s issues on the agenda,” he said, hailing the pioneering work of Janet Jagan and Winifred Gaskin among other outstanding Guyanese women.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Ramotar said the PNC has also had a “very enlightened position” on women’s issues throughout its history, and that while much has been achieved, much is still to change and this is why Government takes women’s issues seriously.
“One of the biggest problems [for women and for society] is domestic violence. We have to tackle this problem,” he said, adding that the Government of Guyana is doing a lot through the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security.
“We have established laws, but we need to enforce them,” he conceded. But he said that laws alone cannot solve the problem. “We have to change attitudes…We have to sensitize people on women’s issues,” said Ramotar.

He said that the response by the security forces to domestic violence could be improved and he suggested that the training of the security forces includes deliverables on how to handle domestic violence cases, which he called a scourge.
But he said that contrary to what observers may report, the situation in Guyana is not as acute as it used to be. “More women are graduating from the University of Guyana, but we have to continue the fight for equal pay for women. More women are [being employed in areas once held by men],” he said. “We have to ensure we have equal pay for equal work done by women,” he said.

The PPP/C Presidential Candidate said that a woman’s pregnancy should never be an impediment to her being promoted or earning the same as a man in the same position.
He said that there should be more service providers in the areas of laundry and housekeeping, so as to ease the burden on women. But he said that these services should not mean that work in the home should not be shared between the woman and man.
Ramotar made the point that Guyana’s proportion of women in Parliament is far better than what is it in the United States Congress. “Guyana’s position [of percentage of women in Government] is better than many developed countries,” he said.
Commentators have suggested that because of the PNC and the PPP being in power for a combined 47 years, they had more than enough time to make life better for women. But Ramotar rejected this suggestion that nothing had been done during this time. “That is why the struggle for women’s rights is still on the agenda. We cannot give up,” he said.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed he should continue to focus on the equality of the women of this country cause they have been fight for equal rights in society and is progressing slowly for this.