The Co-operative Republic of Guyana joins with the international community and women across the globe in observing International Women’s Day 2021. This year’s observances highlight the need for us to work more assiduously and purposefully to reduce gender inequalities.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed startling societal disparities, including gender inequalities. The economic slowdown and job losses due to the pandemic are expected to continue to adversely impact women, especially those employed in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Women have also had to shoulder the burdens associated with the closure of schools and the need to make provisions for the care of their school-age children. These developments will only exacerbate the disadvantages to which women are subjected.

On International Women’s Day 2021, as we celebrate the contributions and achievements of our women, let us redouble our efforts and recommit to completing the unfinished task of narrowing gender inequalities wherever these are to be found.

On this note, even as we work to achieve greater equality for women, we must speak about the development of the family. The value ascribed to the family unit and its empowerment is essential in women’s advancement, as stronger families are critical in providing the support women need to thrive.

Women play an integral role in the family and are essential in the transformation of Guyana. Changing the country starts with changing communities, changing homes, and in every facet of that change, women will be involved.

Very soon I am going to be addressing the issue of family in building this One Guyana we want to achieve. From the level of Government there are several underling themes in relation to we want to achieve for women’s advancement: 1. Greater participation; 2. Empowerment; 3. Enhance livelihood options; 4. A more secure environment in which they can live; 5. Stronger families; 6. and, ensuring that our national institutions address, in a holistic manner, the challenges of women.

As we celebrate the tremendous strides made by our women, let us, with immediacy and urgency, work towards reducing the inequalities which disadvantage our women and deny them the dignity to which they are entitled. Let us continue to work for greater equality for women everywhere.

Happy International Women’s Day!