The struggles of Guyanese women, from slavery to Independence, are being featured in the annual Independence Exhibition now open at the National Museum.
The exhibition, which will continue until June 8, is being held under the theme “Guyanese Womanhood and the Struggle for Development 47 years of Independence,” and is part of the 47th Independence Anniversary observances.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister of Culture Dr. Frank Anthony, delivering remarks at the opening, highlighted that women in the past have contributed as much as their male counterparts towards emancipation and Independence, however their contributions are not as visible.
“Perhaps we need to put a special publication pulling all these three lectures, one dealing with slavery, one dealing with Indentureship and the role of women in the independence struggle… I think that would make a wonderful publication so that we can build this perspective to our young people,” the Minister stated.
“Sometimes we don’t teach it and we don’t read a lot of it and we want to change that….We want to bring history to our people, and that is a very important thing,” he was also quoted as saying.
He said that Guyanese historians have started to work in the direction to help reclaim that historical knowledge so as to continue educating the Guyanese public.
Moray House Board Director Vanda Radzik, GINA said, highlighted Guyanese women’s contribution to the development of Guyana, from those who fought with the men for emancipation and the first women in Parliament such as Jessie Burnham, Janet Jagan and Jane Philips-Gay. Radzik also noted that Guyana has significantly grown over the past few years and women are becoming more involved in society.
She also pointed out various newspaper articles that focus on women and slavery, showcasing their heroism, and highlighted the roles of women in the sugar industry and trade unions among others.