First Lady of Guyana Sandra Granger received the Global Female Leadership Impact Award, from the Center for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD) for her sustainable development initiatives in her country, during the International Conference on Gender and Sustainability and International Summit on African Leadership luncheon, at the New York Hilton Midtown on Sept. 21.
Mrs. Granger who accepted her honor plaque from H.E. Ameena Gurib, President of Mauritius, is a strong advocate for the empowerment of young girls, and who, work with non-governmental organization, Women Across Differences to help girls complete their secondary education, or study and learn a trade.
She was among four other women who participated in the First Ladies On a Mission Roundtable session to discuss the role of women leaders in delivering SDG’s and best practices.
An inspiration, and mentor to teenage mothers on ways to develop self-esteem, and to become self-confident, Granger spoke passionate about her role as first lady and the issue of teen pregnancy, a matter of great concern in Guyana, and in the other Caribbean community (CARICOM), which ranks second behind sub-Saharan Africa as having the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the world.
Noting that 65 percent of Guyana’s population is female, Granger said empowerment and education of women and young girls must become the conversation at all levels of society, beginning in the home and communities, as well social and international non-governmental organizations, and local and national government.
Mrs. Granger, who was in the United States with her husband, President David Granger to attend the 72 Session of the UN General Assembly, thanked the Board and Management of the Center for Economic and Leadership Development for allowing her to participate in the forum and for honoring her, shared her incredible work ethic with Amazons Watch Magazine in a feature article, noting that her work does not end with youth.
She organizes business workshops for women through a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Social Protection and Interweave Solutions where more than 600 persons were trained in all 10 regions of Guyana,
Elderly and childcare, a feeding program in schools, a First Aid training in partnership with the Red Cross, and a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program to teach students about Scratch programming, robotics and drone technology, are just a few of the many initiatives Mrs. Granger tirelessly champion.
Asked by an audience member about stigma and discrimination in her country, Granger, a humanitarian said she was asked to be the champion for change by the PAN-Caribbean Partnership of HIV / AIDS, and she will be speaking out about discrimination of the LBGT community as an advocate.
“I believe that first ladies are in a unique position where they are not confined by narrow politics imperatives, but singly and together, could be a force for change in their countries and in the world, said Mrs. Granger.”
Other first ladies on the panel included; Reema Carmona of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Dominique Ouattara of Ivory Coast, and Lorena Castillo de Varela, Republic of Panama. Mawuena Trebarh, former CEO Ghana Investment Promotion Council, Ghana was the moderator.