Georgetown, Guyana – (March 10, 2019) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, this evening, encouraged persons to speak out against all forms of violence, specifically domestic violence.

Mrs. Granger was at the time delivering the feature address at an International Women’s Day concert and exposition hosted by the Canadian High Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection. The event was held at the Everest Sports Ground.

“Let us as we “Balance for Better” ensure that we speak up and speak out against violence of any kind, not just for one day but every single day and wherever and whenever it occurs. This must happen in our families, our communities, our Regions and at every level across the nation,” she said.

The First Lady posited that “if women were equal partners in the home, the statistics on domestic violence in Guyana would not demonstrate that women are disproportionately the victims of such violence.”

Turning her attention to HIV/AIDS Mrs. Granger said, “data indicates that globally, young women 14-24 years old are twice as likely to contract HIV as young men in the same cohort.” In Guyana, persons afflicted with this infection can now access testing and treatment at the National AIDS Programme Secretariat.

Moreover, the First Lady reminded that Guyana celebrates “the implementation of policies which ensure that health services are available to adolescents and out of school youth and that teenage mothers can receive counselling, services and advice on sexual and reproductive health.”

Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Her Excellency Lilian Chatterjee, said the equality of women and men is the cornerstone of everything done by the Canadian Government. She hailed Guyana’s progressive strides towards achieving gender parity.

“Canada’s foreign policy puts women and men at the heart of its efforts and we’re so pleased to work towards a more balanced world with partners like Guyana. Guyana has a tradition of being a leader in the Region when it comes to gender equality and women’s rights. The principle of equality and non-discrimination is enshrined in Guyana’s Constitution and throughout the years, Guyana has been at the forefront of the Region in passing progressive legislation that safeguards women’s rights,” Ms. Chatterjee said.

Chairman of the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Mrs. Indra Chanderpaul, Manager of the Sexual Offenses and Domestic Policy Unit of the Ministry of Social Protection, Ms. Akilah Dorris and Co- Founder of STEMGuyana Mrs. Karen Abrams also attended the event.

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