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Carter Center Raises Legal Awareness


Melanie Reimer
In Guyana, 592-2-227-4096, or

Kay Torrance
In Atlanta, 404-420-5129

Georgetown, Guyana….The Carter Center Guyana held a legal empowerment forum in Anna Regina on Saturday, March 29, attended by more than 70 participants from Regions 2 and 3. This was the second in a series of regional forums on women's legal issues to mobilize people to address challenges in realizing their full legal rights. The forum's focus was domestic violence and related legal issues and was selected based on input from women living in the region. The event also included the participation of men, who contributed their perspective on the issues.

Participants worked in small groups to define abuse, to generate questions for a panel, and to analyze the dynamic role-plays staged by local partner groups of The Carter Center. Participants' questions and concerns were addressed by an expert panel, including an attorney from the Guyana Association of Women's Lawyers and a member of the Association of Professional Social Workers and a probation officer stationed in Region 2. A Region 2 police officer described the challenges faced by the police in domestic violence situations and police training for those incidents.

By the end of the day, action plans were developed by groups from each sub-region to address the legal and practical problems related to domestic violence that were identified in the forum, such as the severe shortage of social workers and probation officers across the country. Each participant was provided with a comprehensive sourcebook of information and resources related to the topics of the forum, which will enable them to pass on their new knowledge to others in their communities.

This forum constitutes an important part of the Carter Center's work to improve the participation of civil society in formation of public policy and to raise the level of legal awareness among the people of Guyana. These activities are implemented under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development program, More Responsive and Participatory Governance and Rule of Law in Guyana.


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