Georgetown, Guyana – (June 7, 2018) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, received a courtesy call from the Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, Mr. Vijay Krishnarayan. Accompanying Mr. Krishnarayan was the Foundation’s Deputy Director-General, Ms. Myn Garcia, Programme Manager- Participatory Governance and Gender, Ms Reineira Arguello Sanjuan and Intern- Participatory Governance and Gender, Ms. Lydia Mbogoro. The purpose of the meeting, which was held at First Lady’s State House office, was to identify possible areas of collaboration and to update the First Lady on the work the organisation has been involved in.
Mr. Krishnarayan explained that the Foundation had initially made contact with the First Lady at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, during the Spouse’s Programme, where she expressed interest in the Foundation’s work particularly in the area of gender equality. “The Commonwealth Foundation sees gender equality as very important to its work, particularly in ensuring that gender is reflected in policy processes. We know that, for example, in policymaking processes and in the work of institutions, sometimes women’s voices are not properly reflected or are not heard for one reason or another in the outcomes or work of those institutions. We’re making common cause with Madam First Lady in ensuring that, not just in Guyana but across the Commonwealth and Caribbean, that women’s voices and gender equality is reflected in policy outcomes but also in the work of institutions,” the Director-General said.
According to Mr. Krishnarayan, the team also updated Mrs. Granger on its current focus in the Caribbean region. “The Commonwealth Foundation is in the CARICOM [Caribbean Community] region working with civil societies’ voices, particularly to see how gender equality can be better reflected in the discussion on climate change. We’ve been talking to Madam First Lady so that she’s aware of the outcomes of the discussions we had with civil societies and civic voices from across the Caribbean region,” he said.
As stated on their website, the Commonwealth Foundation is an international organisation established by Heads of Government in support of the belief that the Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments. The Foundation is dedicated to strengthening people’s participation in all aspects of public dialogue, to act together and learn from each other to build democratic societies. It ultimately seeks to ensure that policy and government institutions are more effective contributors to development through the influence of civic voices.