Jul 02, 2008 News Comments Off on Human Services Ministry hosts gender equality workshop
The notion of gender equality was the main focus yesterday when the Ministry of Human Services and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held a collaborative workshop for personnel of ministries and other Government department.
The forum, which was streamlined through the Human Services’ Women Affairs Bureau, was facilitated by gender expert Dr Janice Jackson, who analysed gender situations and also highlighted various perspectives in this regard.
UNFPA Liaison Officer Patrice La Fleur said that she was happy to collaborate in hosting the one-day workshop which aims at gender mainstreaming in the context of capacity building and promoting gender equality within Government entities.
She said that the Ministry of Human Services is a hive of activities, all geared to improve the conditions of women, children and families as a whole, a premise on which yesterday’s forum was held.
La Fleur pointed out that the gender issue is embodied in the universal declaration of human rights which was universally adopted over 50 years ago.
She noted that the declarations state that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity, and all persons are entitled to fundamental rights and freedom without distinction on the basis of sex.
Over the years, she said, many changes have been observed in relation to gender equality.
“Here in Guyana we have seen changes in our constitution addressing equality of women and men before the law. In addition, we have seen legislative reform, new pieces of legislation being the launching of the domestic violence policy.”
Among the other areas to be examined, she said, are equity in education, remuneration, representation before the law, public function, opinion, marriage and family.
She pointed out that the whole society, and not just Governments, has a role to play in the prevention of gender based discrimination.
“I personally would like to add that the whole society must include men.” A few men were participants of yesterday’s workshop.
According to Minister Priya Manickchand, who declared the workshop open, no party should be left out in the drive to attain gender equity.
She said that in addition to men, women, and young people, church leaders, and non-governmental organisations must aid the efforts of Government.
She noted that the information gained at the workshop should help the participants to mainstream gender into their activities.
She said that efforts must be made to include women, who are most often left out of issues such as agriculture and climate change.
The main intention of the venture is to work towards the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, to promote development of their full potential, and to ensure their integration in the national development of the country.
It was anticipated that, by the end of the workshop, participants would have gained a better understanding of gender and gender-related concepts, and their implications for policy framing and programme planning.
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