WAB contemplates name
Kaieteur News – March 15, 2008
In light of concerns about gender bias surrounding the name of Women’s Affairs Bureau (WAB), the Ministry of Human Services is recommending a change.
Administrator of the Bureau, Hymawattie Lagan, pointed out that the proposed change includes the “Gender Affairs Bureau” or the “Women and Gender Bureau”.
Lagan said that the name change was prompted by the global thrust of gender mainstreaming.
She noted that as one of the public machineries, the Bureau has already contemplated mainstreaming gender into Government’s public policy and programmes.
“By its very name, people are of the belief that the department deals only with women issues,” Lagan stated.
She said that since the Bureau is gender based, it also deals largely with the concerns of men.
“We want to know how people feel about a Gender Affairs Bureau or a Women and Gender Bureau,” Lagan commented. She said a Women and Gender Equality Commission will be established based on recommendations from the recent National Stakeholders’ Meeting.
Lagan said that the Bureau will work in tandem with that Commission and will require a name that reflects its duties.
“We have realised that men are not interested in programmes implemented by the Bureau and they do not participate so we thought the name should be more inclusive,” Lagan related.
She added that the proposition was first announced during the International Women’s Day observances and later during an address in Region Five.
“As we progress, we would want the general public to grasp this concept of gender affairs,” the WAB Head declared.
Public Relations Officer, Donna Shortt-Gill stated that a name change for the bureau is advisable in keeping with gender based issues.