Mar 09, 2011 News
International Women’s Day…
– Indra Chandarpal
The Women and Gender Equality Commission (WGEC) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development/Governance Enhancement Project (USAID/GEP) yesterday hosted its International Women’s Day Conference, based on the celebration of 100 years of women’s activism.
The venue was the Regency Suites Hotel, Hadfield Street, Georgetown.
Chairperson of the WGEC, Indra Chandarpal, stated that the conference held was the first public activity to kick-start the celebrations on International Women’s Day, while she explained that the WGEC spent many long hours working together with a number of “women organizations” for their insight and to ensure that progress in women was developed from the establishment of the WGEC.
While highlighting the developments which took place over the past 100 years in Guyana that were initiated because of women and their contributions to society, Chandarpal explained that the USA was the only place where women were freely allowed to vote followed by New Zealand in 1893, but due to hard work and dedication of female stalwarts throughout the globe, when the world embraced the 20th century, 93 countries were allowing women the right to vote.
Chandarpal also emphasized that the main fight of women in such organizations in which she represented was to ensure that all women benefit from “the right to equal access to education and the right to equal access to development”.
Mission Director, USAID, Carol Horning told the audience that her organization is dedicated towards partnering with organizations and individuals that “are trusted and respected to serve as bridge builders in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society”.
Kaieteur News understands that the project objectives to further consolidate democratic governance in Guyana are based on the ‘Rule of Law and Human Rights’, ‘Good Governance’, ‘Consensus Building and Political Processes’ and ‘Civil Society’ which are all areas that include the female members of society.
Horning in her speech stated that the celebrations throughout the world on the special day are “not just for women leaders but for women from all walks of life” while citing that many of the women who are responsible for major developments in countries, their lives or other people’s lives are usually the ones who have to face a number of struggles whether it is financial, religious or racial issues.
These women have proven to be role models in their lifetimes and this present lifetime, and have contributed significantly towards the overall prosperity of their respective countries, with recognition being paid to them on every International Women’s Day celebrated worldwide.
The conference saw a brief speech by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who stated that women are now receiving the recognition they need for their hard work and contributions towards society while admitting that a large number of women are now involved in the political arena.
He complimented the WGEC for the work it has done since it commenced works recently and explained that “a lot has been achieved”.
Deputy Chairperson of the WGEC and Member of Parliament (MP) Cheryl Sampson explained the functions of the Commission, while Chandarpal highlighted the activities of the WGEC after which an interactive session was held where stakeholders were questioned and feedback was relayed.
Also present at the head table were Renata Chuck-a-sang who represented the Private Sector, Hymawattie Lagan of the Women’s Affairs Bureau, Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission, Bishop Juan Edghill, Nandranie Coonjah and Ernestine Barker-Logan, both from the Regional Women’s Affairs Committee, Karen Van Sluytman-Corbin of the TUC-Women Advisory Council, Gillian Burton and Gaietri Barron, both of the Labour Movement, Nicole Cole, Peter Persaud, Bebbi Haliema Khan and Debra Henry.
Special mention was also made of Shalimar Alli-Hack, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is out of the country on Commission work.
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