By Stacy Carmichael-James
The Ministry of Social Protection’s theme for International Women’s Day “Planet 50/50 by 2030- Be Bold for Change: Progress for women, Progress for all” resounded on Wednesday as subject Minister Amna Ally reaffirmed her Ministry and by extension the Government’s commitment to realizing gender equality and highlighting the positive impact it would have on the society.
According to the Minister it is a necessary prerequisite for a peaceful inclusive society.
“Gender Equality has been identified as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and because of its significance it has also been incorporated in the other goals, thus highlighting the growing consensus that gender equality is not just a valuable goal in its own right, but that it can also propel progression across all other Sustainable Development Goals,” the Minister told those in attendance.
Minister Ally underscored that women and girls must not be marginalized and be protected against gender -based violence, which is still a serious problem in Guyana. She pledged her ministry’s commitment to continue encouraging women to become economically sufficient through programmes such as the Women of Worth (WOW).
It was acknowledged that in Guyana there exist barriers to progression for women in relation to income, entrepreneurship and institutional acceleration. Achieving Gender equality, Ally said should attract as much global attention as Climate Change, given the fact it will contribute to building better nations.
Meanwhile, President David Granger in his address to the gathering of mostly women in the auditorium of the Police Officers’ Training Centre reasserted his Government’s total commitment to Sustainable Development Goals Numbers 4 and 5.
Goal number 4 seeks to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, while Goal 5 aims to Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
He noted that women have moved forward since the presentation of the state paper on the equality of women to the National Assembly on January 15, 1976, which among other things aimed to make sex discrimination unlawful in employment, recruitment, training, education and the provision of housing, goods, services and facilities to the public.
Since then, the Head of State acknowledged that significant progress has been made socially, politically and otherwise for the advancement of women.
Through unimpeded access to education, President Granger said women would be able to rise to the highest levels. Employment the Guyanese Leader noted will break the cycle of poverty since the burden falls heavily on women. Jobs must be created to allow poor women to have sustainable sources of income.
He called for a change in attitude towards gender equality and noted that this can be attained by ensuring every girl child completes primary and secondary school. Geographical, political and racial differences, Granger highlighted must be eradicated.
There were musical renditions and performances at the event in tribute to the women, as well as a presentation of a documentary put together by the Social Protection Ministry.