Troubling theme for a men’s conference

Dear Editor,

There is a public invitation in the Sunday Chronicle of June 8, 2014 to the First Assembly of God Men’s Conference which has a theme ‘Retaking the man’s position of influence.’

There is something troubling about a theme for a men’s conference which seems to imply that men have lost their influence and that there is need to take back this influence from those who might have taken it away from them.

Important questions which should be asked are who exactly is this influence to be taken from and what are the strategies which will be promoted for taking back this influence?

There are historical reasons in Guyana and the world why we have created a constitution which attempts to guarantee that men and women are to be treated equally and have equal access to all parts of private and public life. The belief that men have somehow lost influence because women have gained influence nurtures the gender based violence which is a dominant feature of our society. The same kinds of calls are made when members of any dominant group have to accept that those they have oppressed have the same rights.

Our society must be concerned if an influential religious organisation is seemingly wanting to lead men back to the good old days when men had supreme power and that women were supposed to be subservient to men’s ‘leadership.’ There are ugly manifestations of these kinds of views in the levels of violence and discrimination meted out by men to women whom they perceive as inferior.

Many kinds of inequality in our society are claimed from religious scriptures. One hopes that progressive religious organisations would want to use their influence to build a future which promotes equality among men and women.

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon


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