Zhao Xiulan lauds strides in women's development

Stabroek News
March 9, 2000

Women of the world, including Chinese and Guyanese, are not weak and are ready to withstand whatever challenges confront them to bring the cause of women's development to a new height, Zhao Xiulan, wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, said yesterday.

Addressing a number of prominent women at the luncheon which she hosted at the Chinese Embassy in Duke Street, Kingston, on the occasion of International Women's Day, she cited examples of women's development in the People's Republic of China over the past 50 years ago.

The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, she said, changed the fate of Chinese women as it was the first time "that they stood up with a brand new posture and together with men, became masters of the new republic."

China's current policy of opening up to the outside world, she said, makes it possible for them to communicate with women in other countries, enabling them to share experiences and learn from each other. "The enchanting charm of the Chinese women was finally revealed to the world."

She noted that in China's highest legislature, the National People's Congress, 650 women deputies attended the second plenary of that body last year. This figure represents 21.83% of China's members of parliament. Eighteen female ministers and deputy ministers are working in the 29 government ministries of the State Council, China's top executive organ. Women make up 33.8% of China's civil servants and six women ambassadors are accredited to the country's diplomatic missions overseas. China's female diplomats account for a quarter of its diplomatic corps.

Zhao who has spent the past three years in Guyana with her husband, Ambassador Wang Fuyuan, announced that she will be leaving the country for China at the end of this month when her husband's term of duty in Guyana ends. She said that she was deeply impressed with the natural beauty of the country and the sincerity and indomitable courage of the Guyanese people.

Among those present at the function, which included a 30-minute video documentary on 'The Chinese Drum Dance', were First Lady, Mrs Varshnie Jagdeo; former president, Janet Jagan; Mrs Yvonne Hinds, wife of Prime Minster Sam Hinds; former first lady Doreen Chung, wives of a number of government ministers, female members of parliament and a number of prominent professional women.

WPO urges women to pursue their goals

The Women's Progressive Organisation (WPO) is reminding all Guyanese women of the need to give their full participation towards the attainment of their goals.

The WPO, in a press statement in celebration of International Women's Day yesterday, said that the younger generation will need to be inspired and encouraged by women leaders whose successes in the fight for equality will leave an impression and impact on their lives.

The WPO said that earlier leaders who fought the battles in the period when such ideas were not acceptable by institutions are to be remembered for blazing the trail and laying the foundation of today's advocates to follow.

The statement said that former president, Janet Jagan should be thanked for her role in the development of consciousness among Guyanese women and their entry into the political and economic arena for a better life based on equality and social justice.

The organisation said that it also "recognises the progress made by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in the preparation of policies and bills, which were enacted and geared to affect the lives of women positively."

The release stressed that the "policies and laws for women's advancement must be used by women and any supporting mechanism needed for implementation should be put in place."

The organisation extended thanks to its membership for their contribution towards the rich history of women's advancement in the political, economic and social sphere in Guyana.

Recalling that the idea behind the day, first celebrated in 1910, was to focus on women and their role in society, it said that the WPO has been celebrating the day since 1952 and is happy that each year more and more women are marking the day.