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Carter Center Working to Empower Women

CONTACT: Camilla Saunders-Mangru
in Guyana, 592-2-227-4096
or Kay Torrance
in Atlanta, 404-420-5129

Georgetown, Guyana….The Carter Center held a Women's Legal Empowerment Forum in New Amsterdam on Dec. 14, with a turnout of more than 60 participants from East and West Berbice. This was the first of a series of planned forums for women that will raise awareness of women's legal rights and issues and mobilize people to address the challenges facing women in realizing their full legal rights. The forum's focus was based on the needs expressed by women living in the region and the main themes were women's rights related to domestic violence and in situations of divorce, separation, or the death of spouse.

A key element of the success of the forum was realistic role-playing by participants--demonstrating the problems often faced by women--and solutions to them. This role-playing generated lively discussion and the exchange of information, facilitated by Carter Center staff. Two attorneys affiliated with the Guyana Association of Women's Lawyers, a member of the Association of Professional Social Workers, and a representative of Red Thread provided expert advice. Each participant was provided with a comprehensive source book of information and resources related to the topics of the forum, which will help reinforce what was taught and enable participants to take their new knowledge to pass on to others in their communities.

This forum constitutes an important part of the Carter Center's efforts to improve the participation of civil society in formulating public policy and to raise the level of legal awareness among the people of Guyana. These activities are supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development's program "More Responsive and Participatory Governance and Rule of Law in Guyana."


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