$80 million to be invested in training programmes for women
-$20 million to revive the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute
The sum of $80 million would be directed towards training for women this year, to give them the motivation needed to move from a state of dependency to independence.
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security would be faciltiating the training in innovative areas of study including interior and graphic design, video editing, child and elder care, business and microenterprise development, jewellery making and biodegradable wear manufacturing.
Minister, Hon. Dr.Vindhya Persaud said it is the first time in five years since major focus would be placed on empowering women, shattering gender stereotypes and encouraging them to move into different fields of study and work.
In her Budget Debate presentation on Wednesday, she said the training, which caters for women in the hinterland and the coastland, would provide them with the skills needed for employment.
“Because I understand what happens when women are deprived of accessing programmes because maybe they drop out of school, we will also focus on functional literacy. Again, brand new for women. Mr. Speaker, emphasis will be placed on leadership training, training in advocacy social issues and legislation,” Minister Persaud said.
The training would be hosted at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI), a building which had been neglected over the past five years under the Coalition. Minister Persaud said the institute would undergo repairs valued $20 million. This will include the construction of a modern kitchen and a computer laboratory.
“We will see the transformation of the lives of women once they have only gotten the training, but being a part of an extensive programme that moves them from training to investments and grant access so that they can start their businesses, be their own bosses and if they so wish, acquire a skill that will make them marketable and employable,” Minister Persaud said.
She said the GWLI would also serve as the first business incubator, where women will have access to services to improve their products and skills, and be provided with links to markets.
Additionally, the Ministry will launch the ‘Women Entrepreneur challenge’ which would allow them the opportunity to pitch their business proposals and win grants for start-ups.
In the latter part of 2020, the Ministry launched its Garment and Accessories Cottage Industry initiative which benefited almost 100 women. Participants were trained in making masks and other items, functional business literacy, sustainable business and micro-enterprise.
This year, $29.5 billion has been allocated to the Ministry to execute its mandate of providing services to the country’s most vulnerable groups including women and children, the elderly, youth and persons living with disabilities.