Fight against domestic violence on front burner for Women’s Super-16

Since the tournament’s launch, it was announced that this year’s inaugural Women’s Super-16 event would carry an ever-important slogan – “We rise against domestic violence”.

British High Commissioner Jane Miller

As the competition officially commenced on Saturday afternoon in St Cuthbert’s Mission, it was realised that this message was more than just an accompanying slogan to the stakeholders involved in the tournament.
Guyana National Women’s Football Association (GNWFA) President Andrea Johnson was the first to verbalise the entities’ commitment during the opening ceremony on Saturday last.

GFF President Wayne Forde

“Under the tagline “We rise against domestic violence”, the Guyana Football Federation and the Guyana National Women’s Football Association, we are saying that it is not okay to abuse your spouse,” Johnson shared with a small crowd gathered at the St Cuthbert’s Ground.
She continued, “We want our voices to be heard. So, throughout this tournament and beyond, we are saying that we stand against domestic violence.”
Finding delight in the sport’s commitment to a cause was British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller, who linked the advocacy to the recently-concluded 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
The British High Commissioner stated, “And I really love the tagline that you’ve got for this game, “We rise against domestic violence”. And that’s very relevant; I think that you’re aware that the last 16 days has been the international 16 Days of Activism, across the whole world. Yesterday, those 16 days ended and that was Human Rights Day.”
“The theme for Human Rights Day was all about inequality, so today we’re celebrating women, we’re celebrating equality, we’re celebrating women having a place in an amazing sport,” Miller went on to add.
“I am a great supporter for ending domestic violence, so I think it’s great we’re channelling that here.”
Going one further, GFF President Wayne Forde disclosed how his Federation intended to add purpose to the Women’s Super-16 mantra.
Forde noted, “Through this competition, we have the opportunity to show the nation and the Caribbean that women’s football in Guyana is a force to be reckoned with. But at the same time, we also have a responsibility to use this platform to speak out for positive change in our society.”
He went on to detail the Federation’s plan, stating: “As part of our campaign, the GFF is working hard to make football a safe and welcomed place for all women and girls, including safeguarding training for our coaches and administrators with zero tolerance approach to inequality, discrimination and abuse. As well as investing in female-friendly facilities at our National Training Centre in Providence and elsewhere.”
In a call for men to take a stand against domestic violence, Forde also appealed to other sport associations and federations to take a similar stand.
With the campaign “We rise against domestic violence”, the GFF is sending a strong and united message that domestic abuse against women will not be tolerated. We know there are too many women who live in fear of their partners, the GFF calls on all in our society and, in particular, our men to take a stand against domestic violence,” the GFF boss said. (Jemima Holmes)