The political Opposition is of the view that President, Irfaan Ali’s “1000 Men” initiative will not address the root causes of critical social ills that are affecting men and boys.

During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, while responding to a question from Guyana Standard, Leader of the Opposition Aubrey Norton explained that “Guyanese men need more than a gathering” of leaders to effectively address those issues that inhibit their ability to be the best versions of themselves. He said the Head of State’s plans for men only scratches the surface of what is needed.

President Ali at the launch of the initiative said the programme is a reverse strategy to deal with the problems faced by men and boys by pairing them with influential life coaches or mentors. Together, they will tackle issues such as

domestic abuse, crime and violence. Some of the influential figures will be selected from the joint services, the teacher’s association, and those in the sporting fraternity.

The opposition leader pointed out however that talking will not be enough. Norton said, “Men and boys in this country face high levels of unemployment…If a man doesn’t have the resources to support his wife and children, many of the problems we are seeing will continue.” the Opposition Leader said.

The opposition leader further cited that law enforcement should play an important part in the initiative. He believes that crime prevention and rehabilitation will address more issues facing men in and out of the prison system.

“You have to create a law enforcement environment that caters to boys, both those in contact with the law and those in conflict with the law… To deal with men and boys, we need to put more social workers to work, more psychologists to work; we need to understand the problems that men and boys are facing and target those problems,” Norton noted.


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