Budget should consider gender-related issues
- Women's Caucus

Stabroek News
March 10, 2000

The Women's Millennium Caucus wants women's groups to meet with Finance Minister, Saisnarine Kowlessar, to spur government to ensure that the budget considers gender-related issues.

In a brief presentation at a discussion held at the Side Walk Cafe on Middle Street Monday afternoon, Steering Committee member, Anande Trotman said that Kowlessar last week met with a delegation from the Caucus. The delgation was headed by businesswoman and political activist, Jocelyn Dow, and the minister was "very responsive".

Trotman said the minister has indicated a willingness to work with women's organisations in the planning of future budgets as it pertains to gender-related issues.

The discussion at the Side Walk Cafe is the first in a series being organised by the Caucus to encourage discussion and an awareness of issues germane to women and development. The Caucus launched in June last year with a national consultation is to hold another such consultation next month.

The discussion, which also coincided with International Women's Day activities planned for this week, was on globalisation and its impact on the private and public sectors with main speakers being Director of the Guyana Manufacturers' Association, Inge Nathoo, and Member of Parliament, Philomena Sahoye-Shury.

Both thought-provoking presentations were followed by lively discussions on the issue of globalisation and its effect on women and children, the family as a whole, the society and the economies of Third World countries.

While there was no clear definition of globalisation, it was noted that it was "the buzz word" and because of communication and technology, globalisation was already in effect and is challenging the economies of developing countries.

Nathoo felt that Guyana will not be ready to compete on the world market on a level playing field for probably another 30 years because of the low level of productivity in the local manufacturing sector. While some felt that the effects of globalisation will impact negatively on the economies and lives in Third World countries which are not geared to compete on the world market with bigger economies, another view was that it is time developing countries devise ways and means to prepare for the unfolding of a new era.

However, all was not lost, as a contributor noted that with advances in communications technology, far-flung communities such as the Rupununi Weavers of Lethem, which produces home-grown, hand-spun and hand-woven hammocks have begun to market their products worldwide via the internet. (Miranda La Rose)