Honouring Commitment to Women as Standard Bearers of Humanity...The Beijing Declaration needs implementation now

The time has arrived for Women to be treated with Value and Respect by their male Partners...For too long Women were made to endure slavery, debauchery, exploitation and oppression by the Men in their lives who continue to beat, maim and kill them with impunity and without remorse...As Commissioner on the Women and Gender Equality Commission it is imperative that I remain vigilant to the fact that the Beijing Declaration that is fifteen years old has not had the momentum it should have given the fact that 189 countires committed to ensure women's right to equal pay for equal work...Women work tirelessly for minimal wages and their work in the Home remains a "Labour of Love"...Let us seize this moment to 'walk the talk' on women's rights...Let the theme really mean what it says,"Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities:Progress for All"...No Society can expect to be economically viable if women are not allowed to participate fully without Fear or threats to her person...She must be allowed to develop her full potential as she is the one that reproduces the members of the Society...The role of women as nurturer, Care-giver, friend, mother, Lover and yes as father (63% of households in Guyana are headed by females) cannot be taken for granted...What will happen to Society if ALL Women should stirke from all their duties, whether real or perceived?

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Comment by Nicole Rhonda Cole on March 21, 2010 at 7:38pm
Odium, Apathy and Stoicism permeates the milieu in Guyana; a Country that was once the hub of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade...How can you be sitting there telling me that you care? When everytime I look around the Women suffer and they suffer in every way, in every way...some people got everything, some people got nothing, some people got hopes and dreams, some people got ways and means...the blak survivors...oh yeah!
Comment by Nicole Rhonda Cole on March 21, 2010 at 6:30pm
In the words of Michael Jackson "All I wanna say is that they dont really care about us" Guyana's Domestic Violence Act needs to go farther...it needs to implement the seizure of Assets of those perpetrators who kill or attempt to kill women...Hit the Men in their pockets as they value their material assets, in most cases, more than the Women in their lives. Let us learn from India's Domestic Violence Act which is comprehensive and recommends that Assets be seized from those Men who maim their spouses so brutally that they are unable to provide for themselves...The Women in Guyana is of no value to Society...they are killed and beaten daily!!!!
Comment by Nicole Rhonda Cole on March 21, 2010 at 6:20pm
Another woman murdered...allegedly beaten to death by her Husband...An Autopsy revealed that her hip was fractured and four ribs were broken...her head was a swollen, bruised mess; she couldn't talk because the inside of her mouth was badly damaged...there were marks of violence all over her body...after years of abuse and reporting to the Police her life ended so brutally and her Husband says she fell and that is how she got her injuries...the Police has since posited that the case is closed...How many more Jah must carry this load?...
Comment by Ryon Rawlins on March 19, 2010 at 8:27am
Wise Words coming from a Wise Woman, keep it flowing Nikki.
Comment by Nicole Rhonda Cole on March 16, 2010 at 3:37pm
Another woman is dead at the hands,allegedly, by her Husband who slit her throat before setting the house ablaze...she was burnt in the house after enduring years of abuse and torment...here is another murder of a woman by her spouse...I remember vividly now the research conducted years ago where it stated that the No#1 killer of women in the 21st Century IPV (Intimate Partner Violence)...the slaughter of females continues in Guyana...How long oh Jah must we carry this load? How many more Jah will have to endure? I cry for help!!!
Comment by Nicole Rhonda Cole on March 16, 2010 at 3:31pm
Thank you everyone for your comment on my story...it is a reality that I endure daily and as I practice Social Work I will always pursue relentlessly persons who harm and hurt children...this I believe is my Life's Mission and that is why the Most High God has blessed I abundantly with wisdom and discerment to uplift humanity...there can be no other mission as worthy as this:PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM ABUSE!!!!!
One Love, One Heart
Lets get together and feel alright
Hear the Children crying...
Nicole Cole
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on March 16, 2010 at 2:55am
Hi Nicole, hi John-Pierre,

I'm following your exchanges closely, with tears in my eyes. It is the third time today that you both almost made me cry... so beautiful.
I wanted to share with you one of my favorite poems written by Thich Nhat Hanh "Recommendation", written in 1965 for the young people in the School of Youth for Social Service who risked their lives every day during the war, recommending them to prepare to die without hatred.

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:

Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
remember:
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
untroubled
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.
Comment by John Piermont Montilla on March 16, 2010 at 12:17am
Abusers cannot and never be treated because violence is not a disease. Violence is a conscious choice, a human decision. I personally believe that God and the Devil is inherent in humanity. Every day we are at war. When we do good, we manifest God through Love, when we do Evil we manifest the Devil through fear. God is dead when we transgress our fellow humans created in God's Image. But God resurrects when we support and help our fellow humans. LOVE is the solution to everything. Simple and yet very scarce in human relationships. True LOVE is unconditional. Just LOVE people who both bless and curse us, hurt and care us, destroy and rebuild us, humiliate and praise us. Just LOVE and all are healed.

Nicole, my message for you might be very hard, yes, it take me 30 years to accept, forgive, forget and yet until now I have not yet emptied myself. To accept is like typing your experience in a word document, to forgive is to set aside the word document in a folder, to forget is to delete the folder and to empty the self is to empty the recycle bin. hehehehe what an analogy!!!!. Many people tried to accept, forgive and forget but never totally healed because they keep on clicking the recycle bin and restoring the "wound" thats why the pain is always there every time we see the same abuse that happen to others.

I will share to you one of my deepest reflections. It was during the International Knowledge Fair that this reflection was revealed by Wisdom (it was outside the AIDS agenda when some free time we had with Laurence, Gaston among others shared about spirituality).

...............Previously for 10 years, i always deliver short inspirational talks to street children during street education, seminars and small-group discussions which we now called "salt visits". Fueled with Passion, I am proud to tell them that I survived violence, that I run away home and become successful and go back to my family and tell them "Look at me without your help, look at me now! I have proven to you that without you, I managed to live and reached my dreams!" the children then claps their hands and stand proud that they wanted to be like me. They justify that running away is the right thing to do and i am their role model. And I always advise them to run away and reach their dreams by their own and go back and prove themselves.

Nicole.... I was wrong......

After the IKF, there is Wisdom in me that I did not comprehend. I returned back to my Mother and Father and asked for forgiveness. I have done nothing wrong against them but I was guided to seek forgiveness (maybe from the word "fore" and "give" which we can interpret as "giving before someone gives" hmmmm confusing? no!). it was 15 years after running away that I confronted my Mother face to face. I also forgive her. She wept and for the first time shared her experience of surviving something that is so humiliating that i cannot share here. She became a hero in my sight her rising above that human transgression. I wept and hugged her. It was an experience of healing.

Before things are not too late, I gathered some of our street children in a prayer meeting (by some religious group). It started with a Rosary and later some Catechism (I was bored) but i tried to receive the group's offer because religion is somehow been useful (though i'm a bit uncomfortable when the leader requested me to remove the wodden penis in her sight.. hahhahaha). Then we started a sharing of experiences. Later one street child shared his hate for his father and promised not to go back, all of a sudden..... words came out from my mouth telling him to go back and seek forgiveness (he was resistant and with anger shouted that he wanted to kill his father because he is hurting her mother and himself). Words came out again from my mouth and I said "Your father is answerable to God for what he is doing to you and your mom and if you fight back, you have sinned not against your father but to God and you will be answerable to God" "We cannot choose our parents, we must respect them for what they are because what they are were created by their own experiences". "We do not know what made them like that or perhaps they are also victims" "and soon you will also do it to your own children and your children to you" Go back and talk to your father and hug him, do good, show that you care despite his being cruel" The religious leaders hugged me and said, you are better than us. The meeting ended with a closing prayer.

The next morning , I received a text message from the boy saying "Manong John, ari ako sa Balay sa Roxas City sa kay tatay, gina buligan ko sya pamis-ak kahoy" (Brother John, im here with my Father in his house helping him preparing firewood"

Nicole, that moment I wept...... what happened if I told him to run away and prove that he is better off away from his father?????

Now, I do salt visits and telling children to go back home. Thats their only family and the only people they can rely. Family need each other, conflicts can be resolved in many other alternatives. Just go back or if not, make salt visits in their homes and families. WHY NOT!!!!! thats the purpose of being the salt of the earth.

Im getting a good night sleep now. Need to prepare my trip to Manila tomorrow for the Life Competence meeting

I greet you Happy Women's Month.

nytnyt and keep in touch

JohnPierre
Comment by MariJo on March 15, 2010 at 4:49pm
Dear Nicole,

The issue you are sharing with us is one of the most hard to address because it touches parts of ourselves that are very much intertwined with our own vulnerability and it confronts us with our most tender side, the inner child.

I agree with you in the difficulty of understanding how a person can live with the burden of having molested a child in some way or other, so distorting his or her future understanding of the real joy of sexuality and destroying his or her trust in the goodness that is part of our human nature. It is difficult to think of those people as human beings, though they are still human... probably with a distorted sense of what humanity is, but still human. More so, they are probably people who have suffered and have closed their heart to it. But how can we stop this madness if we do not think that there is a rest of humanity there which can make them change? A rest of humanity that helps them break the barriers build against their past suffering so that they can also recognize the suffering they are causing?

As you say, it is absolutely necessary to stop that cycle of abused children that might then become perpetrators. So, what can be done to heal the deep wounds which were inflicted upon so many children while they/we were vulnerable and dependant on our elders? How can we do so that the children of our world can be healthy women and men in the future? I think this is the real question: it is important to help those children build their trust again, ragain their confidence in themselves and in others so that they do not build barriers that isolate them from their humanity.

Dear Nicole, your story is a strong reminder to me: love needs to be central to our work. Thank you for that.
Comment by John Piermont Montilla on March 15, 2010 at 3:37pm
Hi Nicole

Laurence made me found you and I am JohnPierre, also survived childhood violence.

I wish to follow you here at ning, to connect or perhaps lets journey together in cyberspace in seeing the beauty of our wounded childhood, rather that making that experience our excuse of what made us become now (when I was a child, I blamed everyone, including God).

I am also working with youth today for almost 10 years. I use my experience as the purpose and cause of being of my passion. But for ten years of work, i felt and reflected that i should stop. Not stopping my service to help those who survived but to stop the feeling of helping just because I want to help my helpless and wounded child within me.

Some calls it vicarious traumatization. My work cause me to be traumatised again and again every time I see people being abused and violated. I thought that helping would help me heal my wounds... but not, i am making my wound open fresh each time and hate, anger and vengeance are the creeping in my psyche.

When I spoke at the World Youth Peace Summit Japan Conference in 2005, I am the only speaker that did not believed that 50 years from now there will be world peace. The world will never had peace if each would not strive for the peace that start within. I shared to them my story that I hated my parents and the people who violated my innocence and childhood. And I said, I do not have peace within me, and to tell you that peace will be achieved 50 years from now is a big lie. I am a liar. How can i give peace if I do not have it. All I can give is my daily journey toward peace. Peace is an every day struggle and not a goal

We cannot change what had happened to us, but we cannot allow what happened to us to control our direction in life. Let us see the beauty of our wounds and celebrate it.

Nicole, I have seven hardest things why I cannot move on when I was in my youth:

1. Experience
2. Acceptance of the experience
3. Forgiving of the person who caused the experience
4. Forgiving yourself
5. Forgetting the experience
6. Emptying of one self
7. And fill the self with new beginning

And there is only one solution: LOVE

We do not know why people do such violence. 5 years ago, i was involved in an e-discussion just like this blog. This is what I said: "There are people who wants to destroy the peace of many, because they have no peace within themselves" Some one replied: " People who are victims are previously victimized and we cannot blame them", So I told him: "We did not chose to be born, birth by itself is a violation of human rights, so every one of us are victims - and we should not justify every victimisation we had for the violence we do because each of us are victims" we did not chose to be born but we can choose how we can live life better.

Nicole, got to go now. Tonight, hug yourself and tell your body "I Love You", always do that. Never feel that your experience has made you like garbage. NO! your not, you are beautiful with human dignity. The God in you is alive, nourish that power.

Light and Love

Johnpierre

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