What the people say about…

Photos and interviews by Frances Abraham and Lakhram Bhagirat

In anticipation of International Women’s Day which will be observed on March 8, we asked the man and woman in the street what their thoughts are about the progress women have made over the years, their roles in society today and to identify one woman who should be recognized for her outstanding contributions. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty

John Douglas- Guyana Trinidad Mutual employee
`Women have come a long way over the years, there’s been vast improvement. We now see them becoming presidents and stuff like that. Even within our ministries, there is Priya Manickchand. Women as a whole have gotten better and they are going places. As a society in Guyana, we should recognize women, not because we are one siding with men but it is nice to see women leading as well. In the future, I think women should be open minded, anything is possible, straight to the top.’

Nicole Nurse- Nurse
`I am pleased to see how women have improved from times ago to now because way back then we had women as housewives who were enslaved by their husbands. The men expected them to basically perform house chores but today women are much more independent. Today, women can go out and work and provide for their families. Women are seen as much more capable in society because we have the privilege of working and maintaining the home, whether the man is there or not so we have moved a great deal and I am thankful for that. I wouldn’t highlight any other woman but my mother, Beldora Author because she was a single parent of ten children and was always proud to be one.’
Karen Knox- Nurse
‘Compared to the old days when women would just be at home and women’s job was just to be a good housewife, things have changed a lot because that is not so, women today have improved themselves academically and are striving in their career to be just as even as the men or even better. We have women in society today that I am proud of who have reached the highest level. Many women in Guyana can be highlighted today, in the hospital fraternity alone, there’s our Matron Audrey Corry. Among the hospital setting, there are many women that can be highlighted and seen as a role medal. The nursing staff is being dominated by women.’

Keon Ally- Public Sector
`Women play a great role in both society and the family because my mom died and my sister brought me up and I have a lot of respect for her. I see women as an equal, everyone has equal rights and looking back at how things were long ago, yes I believe women have come a far way.’

Candace Williams- Public Sector
`We have come a very long way because at first we were only seen as domestics but time has proved that we have the intellectual capability to work and provide for our homes and families. If we should look locally, we have judges, magistrates, and teachers, doctors that are females and internationally where we have a lot of women running their own business just like here. We have come a very long way. I have always liked Oprah Winfrey, and then you have Michelle Obama. Locally, we have Dr. Faith Harding and Cheryl Sampson.’

Clement Jackson- Private Sector
‘Women have come a long way but certain morals in society have been brought down due to that role because women are supposed to be the person who upholds these morals in a home but this is defeated because most women have made this change to become independent. That is why we have so many immoral youths in this generation because they lack the full guidance and support women are supposed to offer. They have strayed from that person and that has caused a breakdown in society.’

 Christine Jeremiah- Private Sector
‘I think that women have progressed and come a far way because we no longer just cook and clean, the roles are changing now. We have women serving in high positions just as men. They are qualifying themselves and fighting for equal rights and I think there have been results. Women are now working and providing a quality life for their families which they still find time to care for. I think every woman who has been committed enough to provide for their family and instill morals in their children should be highlighted.’

Eric Deodat- Private Sector
`Women have moved from your every-day housewife to managers and owners of their own business, they have really been stepping up the corporate ladder. Women have the same opportunities as men now and are even serving as role models for many youths. On an international standard, Oprah Winfrey has always been recognized for her good work and in Guyana; we had Former President Janet Jagan. Presently, we have Minister Priya Manickchand who is doing a great job.’

Adrian Thompson- Lawyer
`Days of women in the kitchen cooking are long gone. Women in today’s society have come a great way and I think they are heading the same place men are, and that is President, Chief Justice, Chancellor which we had examples of. I think all the female magistrates and the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court should be highlighted.’

 Michael Pertab- Public Sector
`Coming from the era when women had that tradition of being a housewife, I think we’ve come a long way. Women now are among the boards of directors in various companies. An interesting fact was the publishing of a Ministry of Labour survey which showed that about 60% of the workforce is women. I think we’re at the stage where men and women are almost equal. We have Priya Manickchand who is a great example. She’s been doing wonderful work especially when it comes to pushing women’s rights.’

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