Marching Against Violence Against Women

November 24, 2019

By Sister Terry Kimingiri

Recently, I took part in a walk in support of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign in Georgetown, Guyana. It was meant to gear the community up for an international campaign, beginning November 25—International Day Against Violence Against Women in Latin America—to December 10—International Human Rights Day. More than 6,000 organizations in 187 countries will participate in the campaign. We marched to challenge cultural norms that tolerate violence against women and girls.

(left) Sisters Roslyn, Junan and Denise and (right) Sisters Denise, Terry and Elizabeth. Boys in blue are our boys from St. John Bosco Orphanage.
(left) Sisters Roslyn, Junan and Denise and (right) Sisters Denise, Terry and Elizabeth. Boys in blue are our boys from St. John Bosco Orphanage.

Women and children in Guyana and throughout the world suffer from domestic violence in all shapes and forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, digital, financial and stalking, among others, as well as religious, economic, political and institutional violence.

Unaccompanied women or children, children in foster care arrangements and lone female heads of households are all frequent targets of domestic violence. Elderly women and those with physical or mental disabilities are also vulnerable, as are those women who are held in detention and in detention-like situations.

Wisdom calls us to accompany the little ones to school, and not to leave those who are vulnerable by themselves. Mercy invites us to shun the pervasive culture of machismo, to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.

The young and not so young marched with posters such as, “Be a winner, choose life, love,” “Life is precious, value it,” “When you heat up, don’t beat up,” “Too many orphans, stop suicide” and “Stop rape,” to mention but a few.

People in Georgetown, Guyana marching against violence against women
People in Georgetown, Guyana marching against violence against women

We walked peacefully in the streets of Georgetown listening to music that made our afternoon walk light despite the scorching sun. The experience invited us to treat women and girls with dignity. We chanted “stop violence,” and it echoed back and forth in the crowd until we felt it in the depths of our hearts.

Our color for the day was purple. Purple represents reconciliation, healing, being in solidarity with all those women who have suffered violence in one way or another.

Our boys from St. John Bosco Orphanage joined us for the walk, because we must instill in them the importance of loving, caring for and respecting women and girls.

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  1. Natalie Rossi

    Thank you for reminding us that violence against the vulnerable is still stronger than we can ever imagine.


  2. Ellen Vopicka Mercy Associate

    Thank you for speaking out and nonviolently walking with your neighbors who are seeking a better life


  3. Richard Mary Burke

    Terry,
    Thank you so much for sharing your passion, initiative and commitment with all of us. YOU are definitely a daughter of Catherine McAuley in this 21st Century!
    Blessings to you and all those involved…


  4. Maria Klosowski

    Terry, thank you for sharing this walk with us. It was encouraging and challenging to read what you are doing and how the issue of violence expresses itself in your country.