For several years, female soldiers were not allowed to serve at the borders, but this has now changed as the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has begun deploying females to serve at the Lethem and Mabaruma borders.
This is according to the Chief of Staff of the GDF, Godfrey Bess, who was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the Marriott Hotel.
According to the Chief of Staff, approximately 12 female soldiers are currently deployed on a rotational basis to serve along with male soldiers along these borders.
“Over the last year, we have had more than 50% of our female soldiers rotated to our borders (Lethem and Mabaruma), and I would say this activity, these deployments were very successful,” he noted.
Additionally, for the first time, women were trained in the infantryman course, which has been renamed the infantry soldier course.
Meanwhile, US Army General Laura Richardson, Commander of US Southern Command, encouraged young women to join the Army as it is often seen as a male-dominated field.
“You can’t be what you can’t see. I think it is important to see women in role, nontraditional roles, and I think some of the military are like that. It’s important to highlight what opportunities. For some reason, we are surprised when we give women opportunities we are surprised by how well they do when we shouldn’t.”
The US Army General is currently on a two-day state visit to Guyana, where she will engage in bilateral discussions on security between Guyana and the US. She is also participating in the Caribbean Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Conference, which started on Tuesday.