Despite barriers, numbers show greater inclusion of women in Guyana – President Ali


Long-standing barriers challenge women’s access to equal educational and employment opportunities but President Dr. Irfaan Ali assured Guyanese that a concerted effort is being made to include more women.

And according to him, the numbers illustrate greater inclusion of women in various sectors.

Based on official figures, Dr. Ali said more than half of the people benefitting from public sector scholarships (some 57 per cent) are women. Further, 69 per cent of the people accessing public sector training are women.

One of the women attending the ‘Celebratory Dinner’ at State House embraces President Dr Irfaan Ali (Photo: Office of the Presidnet/March 08, 2023)

In the healthcare system, he said, 60 per cent of Guyana’s doctors are women and 98 per cent of nurses are also women.

In the judicial system, Dr. Ali said 60 per cent of those who administer justice are women.

“No other country in the region can come close to these numbers,” the Guyanese Head of State declared at an event hosted at State House on Wednesday night to commemorate International Women’s Day 2023.

Still, there were some areas where female participation was lower.

For example, the President said 22 per cent of Guyana’s law enforcement officers are women. And in the government’s new shade house agriculture venture, women participation accounted for about 40 per cent.

Altogether, the President believes that greater efforts are needed to challenge the barriers that have long constrained women’s inclusion. And he highlighted that those much-needed efforts are underway.

“We are making a specific effort to have women engaged,” he said, noting that training in all sectors is among the government’s plans to push women participation.

It is, for this reason, he announced that the government will be training 500 women in heavy-duty machine operations.  More women are set to receive skills in the health, agriculture and business sectors.

Beyond the newer efforts, 72.6 per cent of the students participating in the government’s new Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme are women.

The Head of State also noted that 70 per cent of the students at the University of Guyana (UG) are women, with those students having an extremely low withdrawal rate (only 0.4 per cent).

Special empowerment grants have been disbursed to help stimulate business activities among women.

Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission, Aleema Nasir, at Wednesday’s event, lauded the government’s efforts to foster greater women inclusion.

She, however, said there are key issues that should be addressed.

According to her, affordable access to reliable internet is needed to supplement online scholarships. Healthcare and social support is also crucial.

Nasir also emphasised that women must get equal pay in the workforce.

“The habit, in some businesses, of offering less because the position is held by women, should be curtailed,” she said

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