Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud has boasted of the strides made by Guyana towards the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
In a virtual address to the UN General Assembly to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW), Minister Persaud noted that there is a need for the acceleration of efforts towards the removal of barriers that hinder equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
She said Guyana has made significant progress towards addressing several issues which affect the achievement of equality and parity.
“In Guyana, we have eliminated gender disparity in primary and secondary education, and we strive towards parity at the tertiary level. Teenage mothers are reintegrated into the education system with parallel programmes for those pursuing non-formal education. We have also intensified our focus on our indigenous girls and girls living in rural communities to ensure that they have equal opportunities”, Dr. Persaud said.
She explained that the government through the Human Services Ministry continues to aim at ensuring equal opportunities, and has placed more focus on girls residing in indigenous and rural communities, and also those who have become teenage mothers, assisting in reintegration into the education system with programmes in non-formal education.
She has said that systems have also been put in place to allow female essential workers to participate equally and competitively in the workforce. She also stated that greater economic value is now given to unpaid domestic and care work and healthier partnerships with men and boys continue to be encouraged.
Acknowledging that more than policy changes should be done and offering the Government’s commitment, Dr. Persaud has said –
“We cannot only change policy; we must change attitudes….Even the best plans and policies cannot create change unless they are implemented. The Government of Guyana understands that and that ‘women’s rights are human rights’ and we commit to accelerating the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.”
The high-level meeting of the General Assembly focused on “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
Back in 2019, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agreed to convene the high-level meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.