Georgetown, Guyana – (March 31, 2019) President David Granger, on Saturday, said that his Government puts emphasis on gender parity and is fostering equality in the society through education. The President made these remarks when he joined First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger and several women leaders at Delices Appetisantes, an afternoon of conversation, cultural presentations and dining in observance of Women’s History Month, which was held in the Baridi Benab at State House. The event was hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Social Cohesion. The First Lady was the patron of the event.

“It is my belief that if woman were economically independent, if they were educated and if they were empowered, we would not have this sort of domination and domestic violence that is taking place in this country. So, I call upon you my sisters, to move the process along by ensuring that your girl children particularly, can get to school that they are protected from abuse, that they are given education and that they can take control of their lives,” President Granger said.

The President also recalled that since making a request for a school bus for his 70th birthday in 2015, the Government has now established the Public Education Transport Service (PETS) and boasts a fleet of 29 buses.

“We now have 29 busses on the road in this country… over 12 boats and about 1200 bicycles. The point I’m making… we have to get our girl children into schools so that they could become economically independent,” the Head of State said.

The First Lady echoed these sentiments, noting that she too believes that empowering women enhances their quality of life as well as that of their children and families.

“Girls and our women have to be educated and independent and to know their power; to know how they are going to spend their money and to know how they are going to make the demands that come with that power and that comes with that sisterhood; then is when we will really start to see women moving forward,” Mrs. Granger said.

The First Lady noted that women who endure domestic abuse often do so because the man is the one who earns in the relationship and if the man goes to jail, the woman worries about the wellbeing of herself and her children.

“My husband and I talk often about education, and we also talk about the burdens on women, particularly single women who are parents of children and struggle to get them to school and to put a roof over their heads and feed them… “We have to look at enforcing new legislation …charge the man and find some programme where he can continue to support the family while getting some kind of counselling and training” she said.

Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawerence and other representatives from the Ministry; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Resident Representative, Ms. Sylvie Fouet and representatives from other government and non-governmental organisations also attended the event.

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