#YLAIEmpowers: Champions for Women’s Empowerment

#YLAIEmpowers women is a special YLAI Network effort focusing on ways to support women as leaders. Learn how you can get involved at ylai.state.gov/women.

What makes a champion for women empowerment? Why is it important for women to be leaders?

We had the pleasure of interviewing 2016 YLAI Fellow Abbigale Loncke on these questions.

Abbigale Loncke has spent most of her adult life helping those in need. She is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Community Health Care, which is an agency that delivers home care needs for the elderly, sick, disabled and children in the comfort of their homes while training women who are in need of employment and second chances to take up roles as caregivers. They hold a two-fold mandate, which is primarily to provide training and employment for women and young ladies and also to provide care and support for Guyana’s most vulnerable persons. Abbigale has been counseling young people in institutional care since 2006. While pursuing her studies in Psychology, she also worked in home care, taking care of elderly and vulnerable individuals, which contributed to her love for caring for individuals.

Here is what Abbigale had to say:

Who do you consider a champion for women’s empowerment?

In Guyana many women have risen to the frontline of championing Women’s empowerment. I have several names that jumps out to me; Mrs Joycelyn Williams, Sherlina Nageer, Karen Abrams, Michelle Nicholas to name a few. Personally as my champion I would list Michelle Nicholas, as Guyanese Development Executive who works with sexual assault victims and is a advocate for suicide prevention in Guyana. Ms Nicolas reached out to me after my YLAI experience and has been a mentor, guide and support system to me ever since. Our First Lady, HE Sandra Granger, who since being First lady Mrs Granger has created various empowerment and entrepreneurial projects and opportunities for women in Guyana. Sherlina Nagar,  is a Public Health Advocate and works closely with women in rural areas of Guyana.

Why do you think they’re influential? / What makes them a champion?

These have been championing different women issues in Guyana, even issues that are considered taboo topics. They have allowed their voices to be heard and have given solutions to issues affecting women that could change and enrich the lives of Guyanese Women.

Why is it important for women to be leaders? 

Female Leaders bring something different to the table, we have been known for our transformative leadership styles which are in line with qualities such as empathy, inclusiveness and an open negotiation style. Added to that it is important for women to lead to change the world’s perception of who should be leaders (men only) and to highlight the different types of leadership styles and qualities. We need to live in a generation where young girls can believe that anything is possible and the sky is the limit.

 

Follow Abbigale on Facebook or Instragram @abbs_zz