PRESS RELEASE Message from the National Chairperson Of the National Congress of Women On International Women’s Day 2008

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 (IWD) 2008 on Saturday March 8th. The NCW also endorses the United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2008 – “Shaping Progress - through Investing in Women and Girls”.

The IWD theme for this year, 'Shaping Progress' through Investing in Women and Girls aims to inspire women and girls across the globe to look beyond their appearance – "to look into themselves rather than at themselves". It aims to make women aware of the fact that actions speak louder than appearance. By embracing this theme, women all over the world could truly celebrate IWD 2008 by reflecting on their collective and individual achievements while making plans for a better failure.
As we think of International Women’s Day 2008, we must remember Clara Zetkin and those women in Germany who initiated the observance of this day. We also salute our own Guyanese women, those stalwarts of the PNC Women’s Auxiliary and the WRSM, the forerunners to our organisation, who worked hard for the advancement of the women of our organisation and Guyana as a whole.
In adopting its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the United Nations General Assembly cited two reasons:
• to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women;
• and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.
For the women of the world, the Day's symbolism has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change.
We observe International Women’s Day 2008 at a time when Guyana is reflecting on the recent tragedies of Lusignan and Bartica. The National Congress of Women prays that the Almighty will give us the strength to cope with what is happening in this dear land of ours. Even as we ask for God’s guidance we must condemn those heinous acts and hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice. We support the Joint Services in their quest to find those involved, but we must remind them that as they go about their search for the perpetrators, they should remember that the Human Rights of all citizens must be upheld.
This year the NCW has decided that its sub-theme will be “Women Arise”. We must take a closer look into ourselves rather than at ourselves. As mothers, sisters, daughters, women, we must look closely at our roles in families and in society. We must examine the contention that single mothers are to blame for dysfunctional societies; while reminding ourselves that many single mothers have produced children who are worthy citizens. Women Arise must give us the impetus to overcome difficulties which now abound in our society, through more introspection and emulation of the virtues of courage and determination in our quest for change and a better life.
Happy International Women’s Day!

National Congress of Women
Friday, March 7, 2008