On International Women’s Day – Guyanese women must be Bold For Change – By Yvonne Sam

On International Women’s Day – Guyanese women are called upon to be Bold For Change

By Yvonne Sam

This year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day is: Be Bold For Change.  Guyanese women are called upon to take ground breaking action towards effective long range changes.

 March 8 is International Women’s Day, the special day we celebrate how much women have achieved.  We celebrate the various ways that women have advanced in various careers and roles as independent, autonomous persons with the ability to strive toward their full potential. We also celebrate the creative and innovative ways in which women are successfully contributing to the global community.  

Since the establishment of International Women’s day in 1914, the equality of women today has been much more fully realized. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap would not close entirely until 2186. Sad but true, this is far too long a wait. In fact the duration is mind boggling to say the least.

In its 50 year independence history, Guyanese women, while not in a position to lay claim to having broken through the proverbial glass ceiling , have nevertheless been instrumental in shaping the course of the country—a fact if not well known should be brought to national recall, and not be overlooked or lightly dismissed.Such attributes are complementary to the fact that women are the bedrock of the nation, the nurturers of our leaders of tomorrow. .

However in the face of progress, Guyana cannot neither lend a blind eye to the phenomenally escalated rate of domestic violence perpetrated against both women and children in the urban and rural communities, nor the persistent monkey on the back of our health system—the high prevalence of maternal and neonatal deaths.  Guyanese women like all women throughout the diaspora must Be Bold for Change as this year’s theme clearly demands.

A bold venture aimed at placing greater sensitization and emphasis on change is required in the following areas: enrollment and attendance in schools, education, trafficking in persons, discrimination of women based on their sexual orientation, suicides, youth employment and vocational training.

Women are still struggling for equality with men, and are still much more likely to be the victim of all types of violence, to suffer having their labour valued lesser than that of the men, to assume the major responsibility for household tasks and caregiving, and be dismally underrepresented in political and corporate leadership. International Women’s Day can serve as an important and influential impetus and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity.

The fact that women in Guyana have made progress is blatantly clear, nevertheless the progress of a few does not in any way invalidate the suffering of the many. To quote Nobel Peace Prize winner MalalaYousafzai, “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”

This is a call for all Guyanesewomen to take pragmatic action, unite and continue to act, advocate and agitate in order to achieve the sought -after goal.  After all women are the masters of multi-tasking.

As the most memorable day in the almanac for women is celebrated, I embolden my sisters to be bold, not allowing the iron to get cold, and  to continue in the fight towards change  which although seemingly distant is not out of range.

Yvonne Sam.

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