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Ms Mosa Telford’s article(piece) titled “Teach your sons to be better men” in her series “ Think On That” has raised some serious known issues with regards to some of our men in Guyana and the way they relate to our women folks. The occasion of her article seem to be her recent experience of sexual harassment by unscrupulous men and the non intervention of those witnessing it. She accuses influential members of society ( presumably both men and women) of been complicit in these crimes… by not condemning or advocating against sexual harassment and rape. She posits that justice evades women and children that are attacked. What is worst, she claims that “the rape culture is rife in Guyana.”
Ms Telford does not supply her readers with figures(probably she is not a figures lady), quotations on these issues that she raised, from reputable institutions for example PAHO or WHO or even local institutions to augment her argument. This is unusual for an academic. What is evident is that the article is emotionally charged. Since the article does not include sexual transgressions by women( oh, there are many) nor compares the situation in Guyana as against other countries, one can easily conclude that the article is very subjective.
No one with a sense of awareness would deny that Guyana has a serious case of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape and violence against women and children. Good men ( yes, and there are many) find crimes against women and children very repulsive. We respond to these situations by living exemplary lives that makes our women folks feel safe around us. I would show by facts and figures that most men do not commit crimes against women and children. I would also show that Guyanese men are amongst the best in the world. The media and many empowered women sensationalise crimes against women by men and never say a word about positivity in men. There are thousands of successful marriages in Guyana lasting in excess of fifty and sixty years and no one writes about these. One male teacher commits a wrong against a female student and it attracts articles and editorials of condemnation and castigation, but the thousands of good male teachers are never recognised in a continual way. Now, Ms Telford and others write on that.
Now for the figures. Guyana population stands at 790,886 (worldpopulationreview.com). Of this figure about half are men(despite popular belief that there are far more women than men in the country). But the population of men between the ages of 15 and 64 is258,000. This group is probably most likely to commit crimes against women. Yet our entire prison population stands at just over 2000. If we put that entire figure to rape and other sexual crimes it still amounts to less than 1% of the male population that are most likely to commit crimes against women. My argument is that while far less than 1% of the male population are likely to commit crimes against women that very group gets 100% media attention with articles, commentaries and editorials.
The claim that “ the rape culture in Guyana is rife” is not supported by evidence and hence a dangerous piece of misinformation. Ms Telford Guyana is not considered one of those worst countries for women to live. Go Google and you would be very surprise to know which are the ten worst countries for women to live. Number 10 would shock you. While you are on it, just check out the top ten countries with the highest rape rates. Again number 10 would make your eyes pop. The world statistics on rape by country indicates that at least eight Caricom countries have higher rape rates than Guyana and Guyana in not within the first 25 of those countries. So lets big up Guyanese men. We are amongst the best in the world when it comes to the treatment of our women. Lets write on that.