‘President for the Day’ – 18-Y-0 Renuka Persaud

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Eighteen-year-old Renuka Persaud was given the opportunity to act as ‘President of the Day’ as Guyana plans to observe International Day of the Girl on Thursday, October 11.

Two other young ladies, Ms. Delicia George and Ms. Sara Mohan, were given the opportunity to act as Prime Minister and Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana for the day, taking up the posts of Mr. Moses Nagamootoo and Ms. Lilian Chatterjee, respectively.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 19, 2011, adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child in an effort to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

This year, International Day of the Girl Child will focus on the theme, “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce”.

During a courtesy call at Cabinet this morning, where both President Granger and Prime Minister Nagamootoo gave up their seats, Ms. Persaud said observing International Day of the Girl Child, in her opinion, means raising awareness both locally and internationally about the human rights of girls.

From left: Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Prime Minister for the Day, Ms. Delicia George; Canadian High Commissioner for the Day, Ms. Sara Mohan; Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Ms. Lilian Chatterjee; President for the Day, Ms. Renuka Persaud and President David Granger. [Ministry of the Presidency photo]
Women and girls, she said, play an integral role in society and it is imperative that their rights be respected.

“It is an incredible opportunity to be here today, sitting in the President’s seat as the President of the Day. It is a really great opportunity to have a girl in this position to speak for our own rights because that is what International Day of the Girl Child is about.

“[It is] about giving girls the opportunity to speak for themselves and to have their say,” Persaud said.

Similarly, Prime Minister for the Day Ms. George, in her presentation, urged women to “break glass ceilings” and to pursue initiatives, which can help them to become better individuals and positive contributors to society.

“Women and girls are often not in high positions. Some of the challenges and barriers for girls in Guyana are teenage pregnancy, the ‘glass ceiling’ and also unemployment, just to name a few.

“…and because a lot of girls are sometimes ill-equipped, they are taken for granted; they are offered positions paying low amounts of money and I believe that if girls seek developmental opportunities, they will be able to break such barriers.

“I must applaud the Government of Guyana for its policy for the reintegration of teenage mothers into schools. My advice today for girls is to seek development, believe in yourself, resist being normal and pierce the unacknowledged barriers to achieve a successful future,” she said.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger in discussion with the young ladies. [Ministry of the Presidency photo]
Ms. Mohan used the opportunity to call for more action rather than lip service, to conquer gender inequality and violence against women and girls.

Following the courtesy call at Cabinet, the young women met with First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger at State House, where they discussed several areas of mutual interest including Robotics, Information and Communication Technology, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

The trio was also given the opportunity to share their experiences thus far and all concluded that “it is indeed hard work” serving as President, Prime Minister and Canadian High Commissioner.

Moreover, Mrs. Granger praised the initiative as she noted that “it allows our girls to dream as big dreams as they want to.” (Extracted and modified from Ministry of the Presidency)

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