President joins WPO in recognising women’s contributions- at International Women’s Day observance

Georgetown GINA, March 8, 2014


The valuable contributions of women to the Guyanese society were recognised today, as President Donald Ramotar joined the Women’s Progressive Organisation’s (WPO) annual event to highlight the life and works of women in observance of International Women’s Day under the theme “Inspiring Change”.
International Women’s Day which was launched in 1911 is celebrated each year on March 8.   It is a day when organisations, religious communities, and Governments engage in the quest for peace, democracy and equality, to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Sheila Veerasammy, WPO General Secretary delivering remarks at the observance to mark International Women’s Day observance

President Ramotar, who extended greetings to all the women, lauded the WPO for planning and executing such an event which provides a platform for women to share their experience. However, he said that this event must not be just an annual one, but must be done in the communities so that women’s voices can be heard, their stories can be told and some of their issues can be dealt with.

President Donald Ramotar speaking at the International Women’s Day observance at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre

The Head of State spoke of the many struggles that Guyana endured during the time of colonialism, and how the women would have contributed to the luxury the younger generation enjoys today. He said that many of the developments that have occurred during the time of the PPP had much direct and indirect effect on the lives of women.
“The policy that the Government has adopted, to use education as a tool to combat poverty has also benefited women in a large way,” The President said, and pointed out that while the focus is equality for women, the men must not be forgotten because today the women are dominating in also every aspect of education.

President Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee with other attendees and officials of the WPO at the organisation’s International Women’s Day observance

President Ramotar also highlighted the issue of domestic violence, which he said is a great concern for his administration. “This is where I believe that the Government, the WPO, and all the social forces on our country should look to see how we can strengthen community relations, how we be our brothers and sisters’ keepers,” he stressed.
The President pointed out that catering from women’s equality is not only humanitarian, but it makes great economic sense because if women are excluded practically half of society are, and will be robbed from creativity and wealth of experience.

A section of the gathering at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre for the Women’s Progressive Organisation’s International Women’s Day observance

Other speakers at the function included Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, and Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, and WPO General Secretary Sheila Verasammy.
Prime Minister Hinds who echoed similar sentiments said that the lifestyle and traditional role of women have changed.  He recalled when women were not allowed to have an education, noting that today, every citizen has an opportunity to be educated.




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