Women must find equal place in the growth and development of Guyana-GTUC

This year the United Nations celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) under the theme ‘Investing in women: Accelerate progress.’ The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) believes women must be given all opportunities to accelerate their progress as a gender, for their families and their communities at large.

This gender that has been socially and politically disabled and economically undervalued for centuries must find equal place in the growth and development of society. In Guyana where more than half the population comprises females there should be no excuse in this oil-rich nation to hinder their progress in the social, economic, cultural and political spheres.

This year in celebration of the day, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) puts a spotlight on the essential and inseparable roles of decent work and gender equality. These are:

  1. Prioritising gender issues in fundamental principles and rights at work
  2. Prioritising gender issues in employment and income
  3. Prioritising gender issues in social protection’
  4. Prioritising gender issues in social dialogue

The Government of Guyana must move to embrace these values, not only for one day, but as part of the country’s national development that include legislation to protect and enhance their well-being.

Women must be left behind or considered not suitable for any job. Guyana has the resources to ensure education and opportunities are no longer limited but available for every woman and child. What we must develop to drive that capacity is the political vision and will to challenge ourselves. This calls for our leaders at all levels, but most particularly those who manage and directly allocate resources, to see the development of women and girls in Guyana as a matter of priority across the various divides.

Our vision must not only be to train them and develop them but ensure that every single one of them has opportunity in their homeland of Guyana to grow, develop and innovate. Our wealth is attracting foreigners to Guyana. Whilst we welcome them and the skills and new ideas that they bring, we must zealously guard and ensure our local labour force is fully utilised in every capacity. No skill, opportunity or resource should be limited to any Guyanese, and where these are not available locally then opportunities must be made available for access.