Guyanese women leading in climate action, advocacy

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, M.P, said women in Guyana are leading in climate action and advocacy, while dominating agricultural subsectors and expanding the low carbon eco-tourism sector.

She was at the time delivering remarks on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the 63rd General Discussion on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) underway at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

CARICOM, at 63rd General Discussion on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

According to her, the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) has significantly benefitted women through micro and small enterprises. Finances procured under the LCDS, have also been used to bridge the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) divide, by offering connectivity and related tools. This, she said, is ensuring women and girls are provided access to government services, education and information.

Under the theme, ‘Achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes: advancing gender equality through holistic and integrated actions from global to local’ Minister Persaud said Guyana is ensuring the participation of women and girls in the areas highlighted.

“Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, which seeks to transform the economy while combating climate change, promotes the inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in key economic sectors. Since the strategy’s launch in 2009, women have benefitted significantly, including through micro, small enterprise and entrepreneurial projects and job opportunities. 62 per cent of the Low Carbon cash grants were awarded to women, who were trained in climate smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, photography and business development,” she told the assembly.

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She also spoke of the successful free non-traditional technical and vocational programmes offered with no pre-admission requirements, to ensure thousands receive the necessary training and skills for employment and entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, Dr. Persaud called for more women to engage in climate change discussions and decision making at the regional and international levels.

She said Caribbean countries understand the integral role women play in policy development and risk reduction.

“For our part, CARICOM member states recognise that women’s full and effective participation in climate action and disaster risk reduction is critical.

Our governments are continuing to mainstream gender into development policy, budgets and planning, as well as national adaptation plans and disaster resilience strategies,” she told the assembly.

She echoed the commitment of CARICOM to create an environment conducive to women’s development.

“Our global achievement of gender equality in the context of climate change is heavily reliant on each country’s commitment and genuine desire to mitigate the devastating impact of climate change globally.”

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is an intergovernmental body solely dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment. The event which commenced on the March 16, will conclude on March 25.

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