Guyana's 'woman of courage' receives US award
March 16, 2007
Managing Director of Guyana Publications Inc Doreen de Caires (centre) accepts the US Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage from US Ambassador to Guyana David Robinson. Looking on at left is US Vice Consul Amy Baskins. (Photo by Ke
Managing Director of Guyana Publications Inc, Doreen de Caires yesterday received the US Secretary of State's International Women of Courage award for her work as a businesswoman, media pioneer, and defender of free speech.
Reading the citation at the presentation of the award at a simple ceremony in de Caires's office yesterday, Vice Consul in the US Embassy in Georgetown Amy Baskins said that in co-founding the country's independent newspaper, the Stabroek News, de Caires played a significant role in prying open Guyana's closed media.
Through her example, Baskins said, de Caires inspired other Guyanese to pursue careers traditionally closed to women and through her media work and social activism she continues to advocate for press freedom in Guyana.
Alongside her activities as a businesswoman and champion of free media, de Caires has demonstrated a commitment to human rights and social justice, including co-founding the movement Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE), the Beacon Foundation for the homeless, and Guyana's first legal aid clinic.
Baskins noted that de Caires was among "quite a few contenders" for the Guy-ana award who were nominated by the US Embassy staff here. The citation reads: "In honour of her courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and advancement."
Accepting the award from US Ambassador to Guyana David Robinson, de Caires said she was touched and honoured to be recognized. She recognised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a woman of formidable courage who had her own challenges to overcome and barriers to cross.
The Managing Director noted that in spite of the Domestic Violence Act being in place women were still victims of abuse, though she commended Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand for the work she has undertaken in dealing with a number of the social issues. However, she said, women today were more involved in sports, business, other occupations including in the banking and legal professions and taking more active leadership roles in the public and private sectors.
The Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage recognises women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and advancement.
David de Caires, the awardee's husband and co-founder of the newspaper witnessed the presentation of the award.