Women's Issues In Guyana

Gender centre honours outstanding women

Posted in Gender Equality,Politics by wiig on March 9, 2006
Tags: , , ,

Kaieteur News – March 9, 2006

In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has created a wall of fame in honour of influential Guyanese women.

Under the theme, “Women in Decision Making” the National Resource and Documentation Centre for Gender and Development filled the wall with portraits of women in positions of authority.

At a press conference yesterday, Minister Bibi Shadick emphasised the importance of highlighting women in prominent positions. She said the social, political, cultural and educational contribution of women to society must be underscored.

The Minister said there are only 19 female parliamentarians out of 65 in Guyana. However, Minister Shadick disclosed that Guyana has one of the highest numbers of female representatives in Parliament. “Given Guyana ‘s history and the mentality that women should stay at home while the men go out to work, it is a significant achievement,” Shadick noted.

She added that the ages of the women also tell a story with many of the authoritative figures being 40 and under. Minister Shadick said there are other women of calibre who also head departments, operate businesses and even run their homes. “We have judges, ministers, permanent secretaries, magistrates and politicians, positions that were once held only by men.” She anticipates the day when male secretaries would become commonplace.

The Minister went on to emphasise that women must be proud of their identity since they deserve to be recognised for who they are and not someone’s daughter, sister, mother or wife. This is encouraged, she said, by women who introduce themselves as being someone’s wife or daughter. “However all our efforts would be in vain if men fail to recognise women’s role and [fail to] encourage a feeling of equality,” Minister Shadick remarked.

Among the women selected for recognition were politicians, Philomena Sahoye Shury; Shirley Edwards; Shelia Holder and Judith David.
Attorneys-at-Law and Members of Parliament, Deborah Backer and Clarissa Riehl, Town Clerk Beulah Williams, Justice of Appeal Claudette Singh, Puisne Judges, Claudette La Bennett and Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Justice Roxanne George-Wilshire, Ministers Gail Teixeira, Jennifer Westford, Carolyn Rodriques and Permanent Secretaries Jennifer Webster and Claudette Moore and Director General Elisabeth Harper were also among those listed.

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