Guyana has surpassed the 2030 gender equality agenda, says President Ali
─ Inaugural Ministerial Forum on Gender Equality and Empowerment begins
Guyana has outpaced the world in promoting gender equality, thanks to its strategic policies and initiatives.
President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali revealed this at the inaugural Ministerial Forum on Gender Equality and Empowerment, which opened on Wednesday at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown.
He highlighted some of the success stories in Guyana, including the increased participation of women in male-dominated industries where significant equality gaps exist.
The number of female contractors and female-owned companies in Guyana has increased significantly over the past three years.
“This came as a result of our strong focus on technical education among women, our focus through the WIIN programme on skills development, and our focus through the heavy-duty operator programmes, where women are given the opportunity. This came out of a policy matrix that supported and empowered them to believe, decide, and operate in that environment. We have gone far beyond the 2030 agenda in Guyana…By the time the world sets the 2050 agenda, we’ll achieve 2050,” the president stated.
Some 35 per cent of women have now entered the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, which are being facilitated by the government through several mechanisms.
“What it tells me is even women who are not academically inclined are finding themselves in the TVET programme. They are making that natural transition into the TVET programme. And that has to be a direct correlation of the attention that has been placed and the emphasis that is being placed for girls and women,” the head of state emphasised.
With Guyana leading CARICOM in achieving food security, some 60 per cent of females are participating in the shade house project through the transformative Agriculture Innovative and Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP).
Another 50 per cent of participants in the One Guyana “Cut Rose” project are women, with women accounting for 35 per cent of new livestock business owners and 47 per cent of new entrants in apiculture practices.
Additionally, the government is investing heavily in a sustainable community housing programme through the establishment of urban eco-lodges that will be owned and operated by 100 women.
Guyanese women were recently awarded oil blocks offshore Guyana and the head of state explained that this demonstrates the level of confidence placed in the system for equal opportunities.
The composition of the government, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) also have a huge makeup of women.
Additionally, 70 per cent of GOAL scholarship recipients are women who had no prior educational opportunities, while 50 per cent of house lots are allocated to women.
Meanwhile, President Ali stated that Guyana has enacted a series of legislation to promote gender equality.
“This legislative matrix will put us in the 2050 framework…We have also signed on all international conventions in this hemisphere…You can see our policy is aligned to the commitment, which is aligned to our constitution, which is aligned to our legislative system, and importantly our budget eco-system is aligned to all of this.”
He commended the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud for leading the system and the ministry’s accomplishments.
At the ministerial forum, discussions will revolve around strategies and shared experiences, advancing the cause of gender equality and empowerment towards the 2030 agenda.
Ministers from Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Belize are also in attendance, underscoring the regional commitment to the crucial agenda.
The forum is themed: “Shared experiences towards developing robust national and regional models for the 2030 Agenda.”