“The best thing about being a woman in Guyana is having a very rich diverse cultural heritage background and being able to relate to many other cultures easily…The hardest thing about being a woman in Guyana is trying to deal with the stigma and the discrimination that still exist to a certain extent about women being in certain positions and doing certain jobs, hence, the gender imbalance in certain sectors and professions.” – Anyin Choo
Editor’s Note – The following is a summary of Anyin’s responses to a series of questions asked by the More Than Just a Woman Campaign. It is not to be reproduced in part or whole without permission from the Lady Magazine & NGO.
“My name is Anyin Choo. I am of Chinese and East Indian descent, which makes me a true Guyanese. I have been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the past 15 years and am presently Head of the Diaspora Unit. I am also a special advisor to the Chinese Association of Guyana and an active member of the Guyana/China Joint Business Development Council.
Being a woman is a very important role in society. A woman is a very strong pillar of the family foundation, she determines the stability of the family, the environment in which children are brought up and in many cases she is responsible for instilling good morals in children and is eventually responsible for whom they become. Many women are seen as role models in society. That is how important the roles of women are in today’s society.
I have travelled extensively throughout my career and had the opportunity to meet women from a very wide cross section of different cultures and very diverse backgrounds. I think being a Guyanese woman is having the opportunity and the privilege to be independent, pursue your own goals and having your own unique identity.
The best thing about being a woman in Guyana is having a very rich diverse cultural heritage background and being able to relate to many other cultures easily. This is a definite advantage because coming from a diverse background helps us to see things in life from different angles, we are more adaptive to our environments and thus we find solutions to the problems in our lives easily.
The hardest thing about being a woman in Guyana is trying to deal with the stigma and the discrimination that still exist to a certain extent about women being in certain positions and doing certain jobs, hence, the gender imbalance in certain sectors and professions. Believe or not, there are still persons in our society who still believe that women should not pursue certain careers and be independent. It is even more difficult to get some women out of their tradition way of thinking that they should be totally submissive to their spouses and partners up to the point where they are being controlled and lose their own identity and self esteem. This is how women end up in abusive relationships without even realizing it.
I would want all Guyanese women to be educated regardless of their backgrounds. Education is the key to poverty reduction, it is empowerment for women. I strongly believe that with education, a woman can change her life, that of her off springs and ultimately the future of our country. No matter how well off a woman may think she is, an investment in education is a lifelong asset and security that a woman can always fall back on in difficult times.”