“The worst part was being there and looking at my mommy feeling so uncomfortable on that hard, wooden bench.
“I never give up on my children. I always fight fuh them and even if I have to catch crab to help mind dem I do it,” the words of 47-year-old Cheryl Benn, a mother of 14.
“Tell me we get paid since the 22nd of December last year and to date we can’t get no money.
She sat across from me, shaking. It was hard to decide whether it was because she was cold from the air-conditioner in the room, or fearful.
I had a pap test. This is a test that is done to ascertain whether a woman has cervical cancer.
“You know I don’t really get to enjoy me fairy lights and Christmas decorations because now is time to tek down and is like only the other day I put them up,” Marian said with some amount of genuine disappointment.
“I am a hairdresser and I am proud of what I do. You have many hairdressers who are very intelligent, but they just love hairdressing.
“About a year or two ago I actually started being vocal and stuff.
“I felt handcuffed. I felt like if a gun was being held to my head.
Last Tuesday at midday a few women assembled in front of the Bishops’ High School calling for the removal of the school’s head Winifred Ellis.
“I does sit down in the yard all day. I don’t mix or nothing but I does just sit down in the yard because I don’t have nothing to do.” The words of a 21-year-old mother of one who lives in a depressed community in Georgetown.
“I have been married for 14 years and before, we had some good times.
“I grow up on the market, since I was a child. Me mother had 14 children and it was really hard because since we growing we sleeping on the market.
“It is very hard for the younger policewomen in the force now because to me it is getting worse.
“This is me business, I been selling like this for years, you know how long.
“For me the experience was life changing because in there, I had enough time to think and to figure out what I really want to do with my life.
“I am a businesswoman and I don’t want my business to go down but sometimes it really gets hard because everything comes in one time and even though you explain to people they still asking you to try and me with me good heart I can’t say no.
“When I hear the verdict, not guilty, it sent me in a rage.
“I am now waking up from the shock. You know, initially, I was in shock but now reality is stepping in and I am feeling emotional.
“I was just 15 when me mommy tell me she sending me for a better life.
“You think I am happy?” she asks, her panting signalling that her baby is getting more difficult to carry by the minute.
“Only the pillow can tell how many tears I shed. It has not been easy you know but I would not give up and even though they pay late and the money is small I bless God for it.
“What you buying girlie? A gat celery, sweet peppa, bora all wah you want, a gat hay today.
“The pain never goes away,” she said passionately, gesticulating as she spoke. She is in her late forties and it has been more than 15 years since she lost her unborn child.
“I see her come out the office in a flood of tears and is like me heart just go out to her and I had to stop she and ask she wah happen.
“Yes so…,” and then she was silent for a few seconds, or longer.
She is in her thirties, but still timid around her parents and older relatives.
“Mother’s Day is always a struggle for me because people believe I am not a mother.
“I can’t sit down. I just have to get up, I have to get up and get.
The first column on January 29, featured the experience of a battered woman’s struggle in dealing with a system that is not friendly towards women like her and dealing with her husband whose only intent is for her to return to their matrimonial home.
“It is a daily struggle, some days are good but others like you don’t get no sale.
“You think it easy? Let me tell you, the force stinks and if you don’t get a head on you shoulder it will destroy you, tek wah I telling you,” she said forcefully, her face contorting in the process.
“I can’t trust him, when he leaves the house I just know he is going to see somebody and my friends would tell me they does see him…,” she said almost to herself.
She stopped at the stall on Bourda Street and looked around before quietly asking the price of a slice of pumpkin.
She looks anxiously at her wristwatch before she begins to speak. That anxious check was to ensure she would have enough time to foot it back to her job, where she earns a meagre salary, but performs with commitment even during difficult days.
It is the dream of many to own their own home and in Guyana this often entails purchasing a piece of land first through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), a process that in itself can be a struggle.
Some people tend to look like they belong in certain professions. Tonya is one such; her look spells teacher and that has been her career for 16 years.
After a hard-fought battle with rare bone cancer two years ago, 50-year-old Sukree Boodram thought she was winning when she was told that she was in remission.
She wrung her hands and the tears she had been fighting began to flow down her cheeks; her emotional pain was almost tangible.
Smart City Solutions is not a company loved by many moreso motor-ists in Georgetown since it is responsible for the metered parking now in force.
Her day starts at 5 am and the early hours are filled with the rush of preparing herself for work and her daughter for school; once she leaves work at 4 pm, she bolts home to help her daughter with homework before rushing off to her night job from 6 pm to 2.30 am.
Today we begin a series which focuses exclusively on the raw experiences of women all across the country.