“The global COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated us to change our modus operandi, face the challenges of the restrictive environment and reassess how to create innovative avenues to stay safe while going about our daily routines.”
This is according to the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), which explained that in 2020, female lawyers had to adapt to Zoom Court hearings, meetings, classroom lessons and technological innovations “to stay the course.”
Mothers had to ensure children operate in a new environment via distance learning and had to sanitize, wear masks and ensure our work environment was safe.
We chose to be the change and many women have overcome substantial hurdles. There is still exist discrimination in the workplace as evidenced by the discriminatory rules degrading remarks about the nurses at the Linden Hospital and sexual harassment of women. Domestic violence increased as our menfolk became stressed from lockdowns and work pressure.”
As such, according to the GAWL, women’s mental health suffered.
Some innovative women engaged in alternate income earning ventures and many succeeded and females partnered and leaned on each other to keep their sanity and their homes “stress-free” and they accomplished what they set out to do.
“On the world stage women led by example. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern coped with a newborn, ran a successful re-election and kept her country COVID-free. The United State saw the ascension of Kamala Harris as the first woman to occupy the Office of the Vice President. Regionally, Barbados’ Hon. Mia Motley came up with ingenious ways of keeping the Barbadian economy afloat.”
According to the GAWL, on the home front Guyanese women also made great strides.
“Over the years, the GAWL was pivotal in having the law recognize women’s rights with respect to marriage, maintenance, division of property and reproductive rights.
However, there is still discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment and other gender related obstacles including gender equality which would aid in the development of women and girls. A courageous woman creates a forward movement.”
According to the GAWL, it is calling on Guyanese women to speak up and represent themselves.
“We encourage women not stay silent, not be stifled but rather, choose to challenge every day. Women’s rights are human rights…Best wishes for a proactive, safe and productive International Women’s Day!”