All useful skills should be encouraged
Stabroek News
February 22, 2002

Dear Editor,

I refer to your editorial captioned "Teachers Skill Training" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] (l6.2.2002). The fifth paragraph says "aside from this such a move could also be seen as discriminatory and backward. It places women back and into a mould they have just broken out of, that somehow all women can do is sewing, knitting and crochet". This statement is patronizing and an insult to creative people. Any skills that can empower someone economically are worthy of encouragement. As a poor developing nation we need to encourage literacy and develop skills. Are you aware that there is a growing cottage industry where these skills are being utilised in a tangible way. Goods produced are sold locally and internationally.

What would you say about men who are doing work done traditionally by women eg florists, cooks, fashion designers etc. Is this forward thinking for men? What would you say about the young male banker who left his banking job to embark on a career of sewing women's clothing, and who earns ten times more than what he earned at a local bank. Female liberation is not only about skills, it is our ability to be self respecting and to demand respect. In Guyana there are women who work in offices at varying levels who supplement their income using these traditional skills. The blessing of being a woman is our ability to be multi tasked, being mother, homemaker, worker, hobbyist, wife and using traditional skills to make our lives better.

Yours faithfully,

Karen Bacchus