The Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) on Monday joined in the observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by lobbying for the implementation of the 2008 National Policy on Domestic Violence by having the National Domestic Violence Oversight Committee begin functioning.
A release from the GAWL stated that that while efforts of the relevant authorities to implement a more strategic approach to ending violence against women are recognised, it is five years since the policy was launched and the oversight committee is still not in place. This committee is required to submit an annual action plan which should receive tangible budgetary support.
The GAWL said that the policy is comprehensive and if implemented would result in the strengthening of prevention mechanisms, as well as increased provision of protection and services for those in need.
The women lawyers entreated that “if we are all serious about reducing and ultimately eliminating violence against women, improving outcomes for victims and changing attitudes towards the issue, in addition to support the efforts to address the issue there is need for the national policy to be fully implemented and for new ways of responding to the issue to be developed.”
The GAWL pledged to continue its work to educate women on their rights and options to protect themselves and committed to doing its part to support the policy’s implementation by continuing to lobby for improvements in the system as well as challenging the wider cultural attitudes that tolerate and condone violence against women.