As a multi-religious society, the Government of Guyana, following the restoration of democracy in 1992, has worked with the religious bodies representing the Christian, Hindu and Muslim faiths. This engagement has been formalized in a variety of ways such as the inclusion of provisions in the revised 2003 Guyana Constitution for one representative each from the Christian, Hindu and Muslim organizations, on the Ethnic Relations Commission, one of the 5 new Rights Commissions and their inclusion by invitation by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Appointments to nominate representatives to the 4 Rights Commissions ( Women and Gender Equality Commission, the Rights of the Child Commission, the Indigenous Peoples Commission). As a result the religious bodies have representation on all 4 Rights Commissions.
Furthermore, in September 2007, at the initiative of the Head of State, President Bharat Jagdeo, a National Stakeholders Forum was created which included representatives of all 16 umbrella organizations governing all the various religious denominations in Guyana with the labour movement, business sector, Amerindian and women's organizations. These Forum have been convened on 13 occasions to discuss a variety of issues of national importance such as crime, violence against women, food and fuel crisis.
The 28 member National Commission on Law and Order includes one representative each from the Christian, Hindu and Muslim faiths.
In September 2010, through an initiative of the President with the Guyanese Christian bodies in the diaspora and in partnership with the Christian, Hindu and Muslim religious communities in Guyana, held a series of meetings involving the Government and faith based organizations on forming an alliance to prevent and reduce the level of domestic violence and abuse in the Guyanese society. The meetings sought to establish a basis on which the religious community in Guyana, in conjunction with the Overseas Faith-based Religious Leaders Council designed a strategic approach to jointly work towards ending domestic violence. As a result, 600 religious activists and leaders from 5 of the 10 Administrative Regions were trained in October 2010 on how to address domestic and sexual violence in their communities and amongst their membership. At its conclusion, fourteen religious bodies signed a joint communiqué with the Government of Guyana taking a zero tolerance/stand against domestic violence and pledging to partner with the social service and law enforcement agencies towards eradicating the factors which lead to this social phenomenon.
The bodies which signed on to the communiqué are the: Inter Religious Organization (IRO), Guyana Council of Churches (GCC), Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha GHDS), Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG), Roman Catholic Church, Guyana Evangelical Fellowship, Georgetown Ministries Fellowship, Guyana Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, the United Sadr Islamic Anjumaan, Guyana Maha Kali, Men Empowerment Network (MEN), Assemblies of God, New Testament Church of God and the Science of Spirituality.
It should be noted that the Men's Empowerment Network, a non-governmental organization, and the Men's Affairs Bureau, a unit within the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, are headed by religious leaders.
Source of Information
Update of to the response of Guyana to the questionnaire on violence against women 2011