Gender unity key to ‘Balance for Better’

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Minister of Communities Valerie Patterson- Yearwood

— Valerie Patterson-Yearwood

By Naomi Marshall
MINISTER within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, has called on both genders (male and female) to work together to create a Balance for Better.
She made the appeal at an event to celebrate International Women’s Day, hosted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Linden branch on Friday.

During the event, female employees were awarded for their hard work; the minister also urged stakeholders to get rid of barriers and work together.
“Today, I want to call upon all of us that if we are going to have balance, it will take each and every one of us, not only the women, not only the men but all of us to be involved in this process. We are better together,” she said.

GWI Managing-Director, Dr Richard Van-West Charles, said society has to embrace the approach of equality in order to deal with the issue of domestic violence.
He highlighted that GWI has embarked on an initiative with the Ministries of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Communities, Finance, Education and Public Health, to correct the imbalance occurring in Region Nine villages.

A section of the gathering at the GWI Linden branch on Friday

“We have seen the difficulties of our young sisters, our older sisters as they seek out water, as they embrace the impact of climate change and that makes life a new reality for them. Many of these communities have wells which have begun to experience their own imbalance, but it’s good to know that with the new technology that we are now able to indicate with a good degree of certainty at what depth, what can be done,” Van-West Charles said.

He added that the country must go forward with confidence in order to achieve balance. “Onward for a better balance. We can. We must and we will,” he said.
Region 10 Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Maylene Stephens, congratulated GWI for hosting the event, pointing out that it gave women of the company the recognition they deserved.

He also noted the number of women in Guyana’s workforce.
“At least 70 per cent of the workforce of the Regional Democratic Council comprises women and we have the 33 per cent participation in Parliament. This is the signal that our fledgling democracy is moving in the right direction and paying heed to the notion that our women are making their mark in the world of development,” the regional official added.

The women were encouraged by Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell, to pass their knowledge of equality on to the younger generation of girls, so that they may not be subdued.

“Women you are strong and no one is to tell you less. But let us teach our girls. Let us share with them and of course it is not so that we could subdue men, but it is more so that we would not be subdued.”
She called on the women to use their powers to make society a better place.

“We are stronger than they thought. Our voices are the ones that will teach the changing world and so let us not pass up on the opportunity at this time, when the soil is right for us to expand, to excel and to create change. Let us use the powers that have been given to us to transform our town, our homes, our community and in the end, we will transform the world,” she said.