Int’l Day of the Girl Child: Three young women empowered to lead

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In observance of International Day of the Girl Child celebrated on
October 11, three young ladies were selected to act as President,
Prime Minister and Canadian High Commissioner for a day.

Renuka Persaud, Delecia George and Sara Mohan were selected from a
group of applicants and took up their respective roles on October 9.

The initiative, spearheaded by the Canadian High Commission in Guyana,
encouraged young women between the ages of 15 – 20 to submit a 30-60
second video, explaining why they think International Day of the Girl
Child should be observed in Guyana.

They were also required to highlight three major issues affecting
girls and women in Guyana. The three young ladies were prepped prior
to taking up their responsibilities for the day.

Each young lady took the opportunity to highlight, to those they met,
their specific interests and discussed the issues raised in their
videos. They were given a tour of the Ministry of the Presidency and
the Parliament Buildings.

President for a day

President for a day, Renuka Persaud, during her meeting with First
Lady Sandra Granger, advocated for more women to be given the
opportunity to study in the field of Information and Communication
Technology (ICT).

Persaud, who is an aspiring Software Engineer, resides in Enmore, East
Coast Demerara. When asked to reflect on her one-day experience, she
remarked: “It was an honour to have the President’s seat, first of
all, he physically gave up the seat to me and let me address the
Cabinet, I met with [First Lady], Mrs. Sandra Granger and we had a
really great discussion about what’s actually being done to help girls
in Guyana, especially girls in ICT which is what I specialize in.”

Prime Minister for a day

Aspiring Lawyer and Politician, Delecia George, started her day as
Prime Minister for a day with a formal briefing with the advisory
staff at the Office of the Prime Minister.

During her meeting with Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, the
opportunity was taken to raise concerns relating to equal
opportunities for women in the workplace.

She told the Prime Minister that, “my encouragement to girls,
especially to girls in celebration of International Day of the Girl
Child, is to seek development and become more than just normal, try as
much to seek professional development and to pierce the unacknowledged
barrier to elevation in any profession.”

Explaining how she has been inspired and anticipates a position in
leadership, George not that “women do have the potential to hold high
positions in government and in any organisation. With the professional
development and determination, they can have this opportunity.”

Canadian High Commissioner for a day

Canadian High Commissioner for a day, Sara Mohan, joined the President
and Prime Minister for a series of courtesy calls and meetings. She
expressed her ambition of becoming a diplomat, with the intent of
sharing what Guyana has to offer the world.

“I would have seen the first lady in action, I saw the Canadian high
commissioner, Ms. Lilian Chatterjee, in action and they are
phenomenal. So, why not…” she said.

The young ladies also had the opportunity to address the Cabinet, meet
with Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and take
advantage of photo opportunities with President Granger, Prime
Minister Nagamootoo, the Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian
Chatterjee as well as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mikiko
Tanaka.

On October 10, 2017, both the Prime Minister and the High Commissioner
shared their offices with two young women, Martina Nedd and SherryAnna
Balkaran as part of the global advocacy to show that girls and young
women could hold key decision-making positions.

Also, Director for the Department of Public Information, on July 20,
2018, gave up his office for the day to Devika Ramjaram to lead the
agency’s operations as Guyana continues to recognise women and girls.

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