Female army ranks serving at border posts – Chief of Staff
Female ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) are now given the opportunity to serve at border posts throughout the country, Chief of Staff Brigadier Godfrey Bess said on Tuesday.
With more than 50 per cent rotating to the borders in the last year, the female ranks were deployed in Regions One and Nine.
“As Chief of Staff, I will be championing for women in the defence force to have their rightful places,” Brigadier Bess related.
US Army General, Laura Richardson who is in Guyana on a two-day visit, commended the GDF for policies put in place to support women in the force.
General Richardson became the second four-star female general in the US army last year, since 2008. She also led soldiers in combat and believes that supporting women in high positions in the military can be a gamechanger.
“I think we have to start building our bench, it can’t just be one [female] and then for several years later, there is no one.
“I like to say, you can’t be what you can’t see. I think it is important to see women in non-traditional roles and I think it is important to highlight what opportunities that for some reason, we are surprised when we give women opportunities and see how well they do, ” she stated.
General Richardson is in Guyana for the first time for the two-day Caribbean Women Peace and Security Conference being held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown. She will also use the opportunity to meet with leaders in the country.
General Richardson feels that women can achieve tremendous things when given opportunities but feels that this is not highlighted enough.
“I think that women in our security forces make our forces stronger, makes them better, it gives a different perspective on how to tackle the really hard, complex threats that are out there,” General Richardson said.
GDF is cohosting the conference along with the US Embassy where 14 countries are attending where relevant issues affecting women in the security service will be discussed.
For Guyana specifically, Brigadier Bess highlighted that the issues facing women in the GDF are common issues confronting women in society. He spoke specifically about balancing their work life and parenthood.
“What we do for our female soldiers that are working and are parents, one of the initiatives that we would have included over the year is being able to assist to take care of their children while they are at work,” Brigadier Bess said while noting that day care services were established.
Female ranks are also given “adequate time” to spend with their families.