PRESS RELEASE: The Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo Statement From The National Congress of Women Thursday 22 January 2009



The National Congress of Women (NCW), the women’s arm of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), wishes to indicate its disapproval of the treatment meted out to Guyana’s First Lady, Ms. Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo, as reported by her to the Media.

The NCW notes that the Government of Guyana, as represented by the People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C), is in support of the Domestic Violence Act of 1996, which was passed in the Parliament of Guyana. This Act also had the full support of the Parliamentary Opposition.

In pursuance of the objectives of the Act, the NCW joined with all who promoted and supported the ‘Stamp It Out’ programme, which was mounted by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

Guyana has, over the years, joined with member States of the United Nations in observing International Day of Violence Against Women. This being so, the NCW wishes to record its amazement that the Head of State of Guyana is being cited as the perpetrator of “hi-tech domestic violence and persecution”. If the allegations made, by Mrs Singh-Jagdeo, are true, then the NCW is appalled at the behaviour of the Head of State, who appears to be only ‘talking the talk and not walking the walk’.

The Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana provides for the woman, who has shared a marital relationship (legal or common-law), to benefit if there is a break down in the relationship. The Married Persons (Property) Amendment Act of 1990 stipulates that, in the division of property, the woman, who lived with her husband for five (5) years in a legal marriage and/or seven (7) years in a common-law marriage, is entitled to her share of property which was acquired during the marriage. Which ever way, this marriage ‘lasted’ longer than the times stipulated in that Act.

Surely, Mrs Varshnie Singh-Jagdeo should be entitled to much more than one million Guyana dollars.

The NCW empathises and sympathises with this dear mistreated lady, whose only crime seems to be that she wanted to work with her husband “to move Guyana forward”.

The National Congress of Women calls on the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), the women’s arm of the People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C), and all other women’s organisations to insist that the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana:

• gives full recognition and respect to Varshnie and the women of Guyana;
• upholds the Constitution of our dear land and the Rule of Law herein; and
• pays over to the ‘former First lady’ her rightfully entitled share of their marital property.

National Congress of Women
Wednesday, January 22, 2009