The Republic of Guinea
from Rags to Riches

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Discourse of President Lansana Conté
"Woman, the bedrock of the family and the motor for development"

March 8, 1995

Women of Guinea,

In addressing myself to you on this occasion, I would like to renew my personal commitment and that of the government to you to always translate by facts that which with regard integration of women our laws prescribe but which our habits hinder

In order to merit your role as principle producers and ennoble your undeniable status as child-minders that society recognizes in you; in order to wipe out the label of beings little affected by rejection which some men attach to you unfairly, some among you must renounce taking pleasure in carelessness, irresponsibility and permissiveness.

It means turning your back on bad instincts to take in your arms the core of the problems of the household, the family and, above all, those of our children of which some, through lack of shining examples and moral references, have transformed our town centres into jungles, pillaging and murdering at will with culpable indifference to our common conscience.

Today, more than ever, next to your husbands and brothers, you must work to clean up the soul of our young, by extracting the virus of loss. You know you are capable of surmounting all challenges, you must become aware of your strength, those of heart and spirit: the strength that you hold in your faith in God.

You are the only ones able to mobilize all the strength because, apart from the courage and intelligence that you share with men, you have a particular sensitivity which allows you to surround, better than anyone else, the social and human aspects of problems which are posed by our society. You have time for our society.

You who have always taken an active part in the expansion of the economic development of our country, you come to solemnly commit yourselves to make of Garafiri, not a site for sterile incantations, but a point of convergence of our energies and of our resources. As in the proverb you will sew trousers for the elephant, If you do it, you will have succeeded in the exploit. If you fail, you will have told a lie.
But, I am convinced that the women of Guinea will have, as in the past, joined the action with the word in order to open to our people a bright tomorrow. In the same vein, you must henceforth group yourselves in co-operatives and other associations; without being traumatised by your first experiences in the activity, sometimes punctuated by misappropriation of all types and by checks. You must persist in demanding to advantage transparency in the management of funds put therefor the common good.

The government would like, by this preference, women to become the true mistresses of the family and the true engine for development. Common sense, perception, the statistics prove it: everywhere, the abilities, the income and the status of women exert a strong influence on the performance of the entire community. The governments will endeavour to respect the recommended measures.

Meanwhile, without the expected determination and the firm desire of women to apply and make apply these resolutions, these will simply remain pious wishes, without noticeable effects on the land.

I would like to take the opportunity to reaffirm my corifidence, which I feel strongly, in the women of Guinea. My thanks go to friendly countries, to international institutions, to the ONG and foreign associations for their contribution to the promotion of Guinean women.

In wishing you, as well as your sisters of Africa and of the world, a happy birthday, I send you, in the name of the government, my sincere encouragement..

Long live the women of Guinea

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© World INvestment NEws, 2000.
This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Guinea published in Far Eastern Economic Review (Dow Jones Group)
September 28th 2000 Issue.

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