Gender Equality

In a very favorably report on the Global Gender Gap 2022, Guyana ranked high for its efforts for reducing gender inequalities.
The report listed Guyana at number 35 in the world and second in the Caribbean.
In the report it is stated that in Guyana, men and women have near equal rights with respect to access to financial services, access to land and other assets.
One of the best ways by which individuals can be empowered is by an appropriate education and creation of empowerment programmes to enable equitable opportunities for upward mobility for every citizen and from the report, it shows that efforts are being made in this area in Guyana.
Societies in general are veering away from male domination in work places, and Government and the Private Sector are determined to provide equal opportunities for employees –regardless of gender.
The issue of women and their role in development has always been a topic of interest, and debates have centred around the challenges women face in getting access to the same opportunities as men, and, in a general sense, programmes and policies that could be implemented to ensure their economic and social advancement.
Women, over the years, have made tremendous progress, not only in terms of their own advancement, but by playing key roles in the development of their own communities, and, by extension, allowing other women opportunities to develop themselves. There is no doubt that many challenges remain, and these must eventually be tackled to ensure that women have access to all the opportunities and resources needed to allow them to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
In the domestic frontier women – the child-bearers and primary child-carers – are disadvantaged by domestic responsibilities; and many men abdicate their responsibilities in parenting and being equal partners in the home.
There is a dire need for men to create behavioural change in their domestic and child-rearing engagements: the accrued benefits to the entire family would be manifold; and the satisfaction and happiness of family togetherness would redound to the wellbeing of everyone, not least the children. If they grow up in an environment of caring and sharing, most likely they would become rounded adults, and incidents of juvenile delinquency would be reduced.
Some years ago, under the administration of former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, the Social Protection Ministry, in collaboration with the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), launched the “Women of Worth” (WOW) loan programme, which helped single parent women start and/or expand their businesses.
Through initiatives like Women of Worth, Government, in partnership with institutions like GBTI, has proven that providing enabling mechanisms can make a tangible impact on the lives of vulnerable women and, consequently, their children. By removing financial obstacles, the partnership with GBTI helped women realise their true potential through building businesses. Through the WoW initiative, women used their acumen to grow local communities, build wealth, and ultimately contribute to making Guyana better as a whole.
Before their advent into politics in then British Guyana, local women were treated as less by the colonial overlords. Women could not work in the Public Service after marriage, and they certainly could not vote, among a multiplicity of human/women/s rights constraints.
Over the years, intrepid women fought for equality, and after much struggle and countless engagements at various fora, women were permitted greater freedoms in the socio-political dynamics of the nation. Today, women proliferate in leadership roles in every sphere of activity in the nation.
President Dr Irfaan Ali’s administration is off to a great start in addressing pressing social issues facing women.
To quote the Global Gender Gap 2022: “Among them, Peru, Guyana and Chile have improved their gender parity scores the most. By contrast, more populous countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina showed mild stagnation in scores…Based on the current pace of progress, Latin America and the Caribbean will close its gender gap in 67 years.”
While there is still a lot to be done, this high ranking serves as a boost and a win for Guyana.