The Caribbean Observatory On Srhr And Cfpa Meets With The Women And Gender Equality Commission (Wgec) To Partner In Advocacy In Guyana

The Caribbean Observatory on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA) met with members of the Women and Gender Equality Commission to explore common connections on critical issues of gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights andย  gender equalityย  in Guyana.

The commissionโ€™s Chairperson Indra Chandarpal, CEO Renata Chuck-A- Sang and Commissioner Nicole Cole,ย  met with the CEO of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA) Rev. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, Project Manager of the SRHR Observatory Jenelle Blackman, Data Monitoring Officer Dawn Hazell Gillsย  and Adeola Young, Advocacy and Communications coordinator.

The group discussed the progress of legislation on domestic violence and human rights conventions such as the ILO C190ย  as it relates to sexual harassment in the workplace. The programs of the Commissionย  with women to address issues faced by vulnerable populations, particularly withย  indigenous women, persons with disabilities, and migrant women were also on the agenda. In discussing gender based violence, Rev. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth stated โ€œThe engagement of men and boys as partners in ending gender-based violence and gender equality is a key factor in pushing the work forward. The observatory and CFPAย  have completed studies in the territories of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the views of men and boys on gender based violence and we are happy to share this with our colleagues to guide programming.โ€ The transformation of harmful masculinities and changing the narrative of gender equality of being seen as a women issues effort is necessary to engage men and boys. It is an issue for all members of society.

Both organisations agreed on the need for the strengthening of evidence-based programming by data collection on the various social issues faced by the population and encouragement of the sharing of information among CSOs and state entities. The observatoryโ€™s virtual database has been built and the team is currently collecting data in the region.ย  WGEC CEO Renata Chuck-A- Sang spoke aboutย  the current data collection on the Sustainable development goals by the Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Human Services and Social Security data on persons with disabilities and the Documentation Centre on women.

Chairperson Indra Chandarpal indicated that work is being done by CSOs and state entities in Guyana on the development of indigenous persons and women, however public engagementย  is required to decrease the gaps in access of vulnerable populations to rights and services. There was consensus on the need for gender sensitive data collection to inform programming and policies, and to track progress. Project Manager Jenelle Blackman welcomed such developments and reiterated the observatoryโ€™s commitment to partner with the WGEC and other groups on initiatives to ensure that no one is left behind.

Theย  Caribbean Observatory on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rightsย  is a Spotlight initiative (SI) in partnership with UNFPA and the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA). The project contributes to regional cooperation to prevent and respond to family violence in the region. It also monitors human rights obligations, law and policy, gather data to track progress on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender-based violence (GBV) and bring key alliesย  together to advocate for change of legislation, policy and harmful social norms across the Caribbean.