Despite the many achievements made along the path to gender equality, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) said one glaring reflection of the persistent existence of gender-based discrimination is the continuing violence against women in all its forms.
“Until this issue is genuinely seen as a violation of human rights and an impediment to the achievement of equality, development and peace, as was identified by governments in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference for Women, the persistence and prevalence of violence against women would be unabated,” the group said in its message to mark International Women’s Day 2014.
“Each of us has a role to play in this struggle for equality and GAWL believes that the genesis of efforts should be with parents who need to teach their children that all human beings are created equal and should be treated as such.”
The group pointed out that it takes more than condemning the scourge to bring about change; it “requires leadership and political will backed by action and resources.” In this regard, GAWL opined that the time is ripe for the establishment of a Women’s Caucus in the National Assembly and stands ready to support any such initiative.
“It has been proven that women’s caucuses have the potential to promote gender equality, place issues pertaining to women and children high on the political agenda and achieve the passage of relevant legislation,” GAWL said.
Meanwhile, GAWL said it stands in solidarity with women across the globe in their quest for human rights, dignity and equality. This year, observances are being held under the theme ‘Inspiring Change’ which is intended to encourage advocacy for women’s advancement in every way. As such, GAWL celebrates the many achievements women have made along the path to gender equality, and resolve to continue fulfilling its mandate: supporting justice and equality, with a view to supporting the fight for the rights and opportunities of women and girls in Guyana.
“We salute and applaud those women who are working for positive change in their families, their communities and their countries as well as every individual, government and organisation working for and supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality,” GAWL said.