January 23, 2018

A timely conversation

Women’s Wednesdays Guyana (WWG) is a weekly web-based broadcast in which conversations surrounding the experiences of women are done. The conversations often bridge the gaps between race, class, gender, and sexuality and how they all relate to the Guyanese experience.

Women’s Wednesdays Guyana host Akola Thompson (right) and founder of Equality Bahamas and Women’s Wednesdays Bahamas, Alicia Wallace

WWG was born out of the formation of a Caribbean alliance of activists. This alliance came about following the Life in Leggings Regional Caribbean March. WWG’s host, Akola Thompson, was the organiser for the Guyanese leg. Guyana participated in this march along with eight other Caribbean countries united in the fight against sexual harassment and violence. Out of the alliances formed, activists from across the Caribbean began collaboration with each other and sought sustainable ways to do their civil society work.
Bahamian rights activist, Alicia Wallace last year began a monthly-based broadcast called ‘Women’s Wednesdays Bahamas’. Recognising the importance and need of such platforms in Guyana, Akola contacted Alicia and shortly after began the creation of ‘Women’s Wednesdays Guyana’.
Currently, WWG is streamed live from its Facebook page. The reason for having a live programme, according to Akola, is so that viewers are able to ask questions in real time and have them answered. However, WWG is currently looking into other more effective ways of streaming and maintaining its programme due to several constraints and glitches within the current working model.
“While we only began our broadcasts in October 2017, the response to it has been exceptional and a bit surprising. Many are happy to have a platform where they can learn and discuss issues that are too often considered ‘taboo’. So far we’ve covered several hot-button topics such as gender-based violence, abortion, postpartum depression, rape and sexual health and pleasure. The topics discussed on Women’s Wednesdays are not meant to be limiting and as such vary widely,” Akola explained in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine.
As an activist and advocate, Akola said her job usually deals with her having to provide information. However, audiences are often limited, so the messages resound in an echo chamber. Platforms, such as WWG, give activists a direct link to a larger audience.
Akola’s hope is to build WWG into an easily accessible information hub for Guyanese men and women at home and in the diaspora.
For more information, visit Women’s Wednesdays Guyana on Facebook. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)