PRESS RELEASE A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF WOMEN ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2006 People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The National Congress of Women (NCW), the women’s arm of the People’s National Congress Reform, salutes all women in Guyana and throughout the world as we observe International Women’s Day 2006, today Wednesday March 8th.

We recall the recognition of International Women’s Day which began way back in Denmark in 1910, when a group of women, led by Clara Zetkin, began a protest to call attention to the discrimination and indignities meted out to women in their workplaces. The call for this recognition soon spread and women worldwide took note of their own circumstances and so today International Women’s Day observances take various forms.

The NCW has observed International Women’s Day in Guyana since 1977 and today as we enjoy the attention paid to women, we must salute all those women who worked diligently for the improvement of those to follow. We remember those stalwarts of the PNC Women’s Auxiliary and the WRSM, the forerunner to our organisation, who have gone to higher glory. These women, worked hard for the advancement of the women of our organisation and Guyana as a whole. On this occasion of International Women’s Day we salute all members of the NCW, and we urge that we continue to work tirelessly for the upliftment of our womenfolk.

As we observe this day let us recall the work done by the administration of the People’s National Congress in recognising that women had a role to play in the development of this dear country of ours. Let us recall some of the steps which were taken, beginning with the State Paper on Equality for women in 1976; Enshrinement of the principle of equality for women under Article 29 of the 1980 Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; The establishment of the Women’s Affairs Bureau and the signing and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women in 1980; Representation on the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women in 1982; The Removal of Discrimination Against Children Born out of Wedlock Act in 1983; The Equal Rights and the Married Persons (Property) Amendment Acts of 1990.

The People’s National Congress and its women’s arm also supported the Domestic Violence Act which was passed in Parliament not so long ago.

We however regret that despite all the work done by our predecessors there are still some women who cannot enjoy the fruits of their labour. Let us remember those who worked for better lives for their sisters and those who lost their lives in the process. Let us salute all those unsung heroines and demand justice for all women.

We condemn the rise in domestic violence, crime, discrimination, corruption to name a few of the serious problems facing this dear land of ours.

As we gear up for the upcoming elections the NCW salutes the recognition of women’s contribution to the development of country and the inclusion of women as one-third of the lists of all parties for the last elections. We are confident that our women who have always been the pillar of our Party will continue to serve with distinction and we also look forward to the implementation of that slogan initiated through International Women’s organisations, “getting the balance right - 50/50 women in government by 2005”. We pledge to campaign hard for the victory of our Party at the upcoming elections.

As we observe International Women’s Day, today March 8, 2006, we pledge to bind ourselves together and give meaning to our theme for International Women’s Day A Vision of Sisterhood is Vital for the Development of Guyana.

A Happy International Women’s Day!

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Tuesday, March 07, 2006