[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana government is hosting a National Conference on Gender and Development policy, with the aim of bridging the gap between men and women.
The conference is being held under the theme “Equal rights for all – Be good to people,” at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre and saw presentations being made by a number of foreign and government officials at the opening ceremony on Thursday, August 27.
Country representative of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jean Ricot Dormeus in his remarks commended Guyana for hosting such a conference, nothing that it speaks volume to the importance attached to the issue.
He said that the Guyanese people have made “tremendous” contributions to special constitutional measures and for including women in politics.
Meanwhile, UNDP resident representative, Khadija Musa urged the APNU+AFC government to ensure that the policy is fully implemented once developed.
“When policies are developed by governments, they should really put their money where their mouth is and ensure that the policy is absolutely monitored and implemented by everyone. That is really important,” Musa said.
She further encouraged participants to think of themselves as Guyanese first and not be divided by the many issues affecting the country.
Additionally, Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence pointed out that the conference is part of the consultative process that will lead to the drafting of a national policy on gender development.
“It is the aim of the government of Guyana to develop a society in which both girls and boys, women and men live together in safety and harmony and with dignity and mutual respect.”
She said that the policy would help to reduce all forms of gender discrimination and strengthen institutional mechanisms.
Delivering the feature address was President David Granger, who pointed out that the economic and political gap between men and women is still too wide and that women and girls are still being left behind.
“Women have made significant strides over the past four decades; there are now much greater awareness of women’s rights. There is however still a long way to go to achieving full equality. The gap in economic, political and social achievement between men and women remains wide. Inequality persists,” the President said.
He added that the government aims to ensure that the policy includes, equality of women in politics, eradication of extreme poverty, enhancement of employment opportunities, elimination of violence and enhance access to education, especially sciences and technology.