Human Services Ministry launches Directory of Women’s Organisations
Kaieteur News – March 9, 2007
The reality that women have advanced their status and become more visible in society does not mean that their struggle for peace and equality has ended.
This notion was voiced by Human Services Minister, Priya Manickchand, when she launched a Directory of Women’s Organisations in observance of International Women’s Day yesterday.
The Minister said as Guyana joined the rest of the world in observances, efforts must be made to reflect on the progress women made in the struggle for equality, peace and development.
“We should use this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the world and particularly in Guyana …they have made extraordinary advances and played an extraordinary role in the development of communities and the country as a whole.”
And because the contributions and advancement of women have become quite noticeable, Manickchand pointed out that people, especially children, can be easily led into believing that the struggle is over.
“I wish to caution against that, because women are still being underpaid and have to work twice as hard to get half the recognition that men do.”
Additionally, the Minister pointed out that there is still more violence perpetrated against women than men, and asked that citizens address the problem from its earliest stage.
“I ask that every person in Guyana , male and female, commit the day to doing all you can to ensure that the future of every little girl is bright and rewarding.”
And if this is achieved, the Minister pointed out, Guyana would be able to get past hurdles that are hampering not only women’s development, but that of the country.
“These are some of the things we have to do, let us use the opportunity today to unite and mobilise for change, which is necessary.”
In this regard the Minister pointed out the importance of the directory – which was prepared by her Ministry’s Resource and Documentation Centre – and described it as “another contribution of women to the society.”
The directory consists of a chronological, alphabetical, and regional listing of women’s organisations, as well as a listing according to activities. The Minister opined that the publication would undoubtedly become a national piece and informed that it would be updated as the need arises.
She lauded the efforts of the documentation centre’s staff, which is headed by Ms Yvonne Stephenson, for transforming it into a memory lane of “women who paved the way for us to have easier lives.”
A pictorial exhibit representing four decades (1966-2006) of women who have been and still are pioneers and role models to those in decision-making capacities adorn the walls of the centre. They vary widely, and include such persons as the first female president (Mrs. Janet Jagan), presidents’ wives, women in the judiciary, directors and managers, professors, public servants, permanent secretaries, women in agriculture and education, mayors, and those who were trailblazers in the arts and culture.
According to Ms Stephenson, the display was limited since the space available was insufficient to accommodate the many women who have played significant roles in the country’s development.