by US Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare today’s date as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world. This resolution also seeks to galvanize global commitments to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence, and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls.
While the world has seen important progress in expanding opportunity for women and girls, significant gaps remain in their level of political participation and economic opportunity. A growing body of evidence makes clear that political and economic empowerment among women is critical to fostering international peace and security, growing vibrant market economies, and supporting open and accountable governance. That is why the Obama Administration has ensured that promoting the rights of women is fully-integrated into the formulation and conduct of
Secretary of State Clinton has long been a leading global advocate for female empowerment and has brought her passion for ensuring that young women are able to make the most of their talents to our foreign engagement with countries throughout the world. In support of Secretary Clinton’s priorities, the U.S. Embassy in
Our Embassy donated several books to Women Across Differences, a local organization in
Last January, the Embassy actively participated in the WITNESS Project – a campaign where Guyanese youths helped build awareness on domestic violence. Launched by the U.S.-based Margaret Clemons Foundation, the WITNESS Project engaged talented Guyanese youth to take photographs that became the basis of a city-wide poster campaign that sought to spark conversations on domestic violence and send a clear message: children are the most vulnerable and impressionable witnesses of domestic violence.
We believe that education is a significant investment for any country – especially higher education, vocational training, and exposure to other cultures and ways of life. Few investments have as large a payoff as girls’ education. Educated women are more likely to take care of their health, choose to have fewer children — and educate them well, which, in turn, makes it more likely their children will survive and thrive into adulthood. Research by the World Bank and other organizations has shown that increasing girls’ schooling boosts women’s wages and leads to faster economic growth than educating only boys. Moreover, when women earn more money, they are more likely to invest it in their children and households, enhancing family wealth and well-being. Other benefits of women’s education captured in studies include lower levels of HIV infection, domestic violence and harmful practices toward women. Our Embassy staff has visited schools around Guyana to provide educational briefings on a number of topics – the environment, U.S. culture, and domestic violence – to name a few. We also try to provide information and support to students who might be interested in studying abroad in the
The U.S. Embassy supported
The Embassy has also afforded women and girls from
Recognizing that no country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs, we must continue to work together to break down barriers to the political and economic empowerment of women and girls. Countries that succeed in advancing the status of women and girls most effectively will reap future benefits in development, prosperity, security and democracy.