Guyanese women on International Women Day 2018
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 8, 2018
Under the theme, “The Time is Now: Rural and Urban activists transforming women’s lives” and the hashtag #pressforprogress, Guyanese women were honoured today through a series of events as the country observed International Women’s Day 2018.
Some of the nation’s influential women shared their views with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on the instrumental role women play in the development of society. They also encouraged women to seize this moment to claim their rights.
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire noted that even as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Guyanese women, more needs to be done to ensure female empowerment is achieved not only in Guyana but regionally and throughout the world.
She said women need to unite and educate themselves in relation to their rights and responsibilities as women.
“I would want to urge, in relation to International Women Day 2018 that women and girls appreciate that they have rights, that they have control over their bodies, that they have the right to say no, they must be respected, they must command respect and to say to our menfolk to respect our women and girls.”
Jasmin Harris, Head Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ministry of Social Protection expressed satisfaction that a day has been set aside to recognise the achievements of women and observed that the country is on the right path as it pertains to the inclusion of women in the nation’s development.
“We have Ministers Amna Ally, Annette Ferguson, Catherine Hughes, Garrido-Lowe, Hastings, Nicolette Henry, all of these powerful women in government. So, I think Guyana is going towards achieving or recognising women as a whole in Guyana and I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to be in an office where I can effect change in Guyana.”
In the mining industry, women often are overlooked or underestimated. However, Urica Primus, President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation said women miners must motivate themselves to overcome the limitations and labels placed on them.
“I believe for women in the industry within mining that is male-dominated, International Women Day provides us with the opportunity to promote the work of women and to inspire the younger women to be involved and encourage women the opportunity to identify heroes within their own country.”
Deoranie Babulall, Occupational Therapist attached at the Palms Geriatric Institution hopes that this day will help to encourage young women and girls to believe in themselves and overcome cultural barriers and limitations. She urged women and girls to focus on themselves and to set goals in an effort towards achieving them.
“I encourage young women to develop themselves, you know make something of themselves, do not just settle for less, do not just settle for what society says you are and take it.”
Paula McAdam, Aircraft Accident Officer, observed that not long ago women were rare in the field of aviation. However, today, although they number less than a quarter in the aviation workforce, they have made a significant impact in the industry.
“We will use this opportunity to allow the young women, our young sisters and daughters to climb on our shoulders and to strive to achieve. Let us be the wind beneath their wings so that they can soar and break through the glass ceiling and exceed on what we would have achieved so far,” she said.
Over the years, women have expressed their desire towards establishing equality between women and men leading numerous protests. In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations signed the first international agreement to confirm the principle of equality between women and men. This set-in motion a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
By: Neola Damon