Have women stopped dreaming? Study finds higher number of females unemployed in Guyana


A study conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that female unemployment is higher than male unemployment in Guyana.

Dubbed as the first study on migrant labour here, it examines the impact on the country’s rapidly changing economic landscape and offers recommendations for prosperity planning.

But through the United States State Department funded study, Guyana’s employment rates were noted as hovering between 13 – 14 per cent with seasonal fluctuation. It found that some six out of every 10 persons eligible for employment was jobless.

It also confirmed a high prevalence of youth and rural unemployment.

Richard Rambarran

Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton and Political Officer at the United States Embassy Seth Wikas have both raised concerns with the data surrounding women.

Wikas was curious about how they arrived at the conclusion. But as Consultant Richard Rambarran explained, the data came from the Guyana Bureau of Statistics in the Guyana Labour Force Survey which is done quarterly.

“Females tend to have a higher unemployment rate in the labour market,” he asserted.

A population census reportedly also confirmed this.

Hamilton asked the question: “have women stopped dreaming?” He believes that the structure of society has caused women to stop dreaming.

“When a woman is in school she has things she is dreaming about; things she wants to become but because they don’t have financing to go to university it usually stops them from developing themselves.

“Then they get caught up with husband and children and they forget their dream,” Hamilton reasoned.

He called for a rearranging of society and how it operates in order to make opportunities available to women.

Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton

The Labour Minister said he has already asked the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) to work out some solutions to the issue; it could include a range of technical training.

According to Rambarran, the single most important finding of the study is to take stock of where the country currently is and take steps to move forward. It recommended, among other things, legislative reform and a strengthening of the analysis of the labour market. Hamilton said this has already begun.

Meanwhile, IOM Chief of Mission and Regional Coordination Officer Robert Natiello promised further studies on the labour market and labour migration in Guyana.

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