The theme of this year’s observance of International Women’s Day, “Balance for better” was re-emphasised on Friday, as the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) hosted a celebration to honour women.The event, which was hosted at the Watuka club lawns in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) saw officials reflecting on the struggles and achievements of women in the workplace and elsewhere in the quest to achieve balance.This was done against the backdrop of live entertainment performances. Speaking at the event, Minister within the Communities Ministry, Valerie Adams-Yearwood emphasised the need for all of society to work together in achieving this “balance”.“If we’re going to have balance, it would take each and every one of us, not only the women, not only the men but all of us to be involved in this process…Achieving balance will take action on every part. It will take the removal of barriers that are set up,” she stated.Noting that it is not going to be easy, she encouraged women to take up the challenge and men to be more understanding.The Minister further stated that while some women are afraid to venture out and fulfil their potential, there are some who are bold, as she pointed out that women can offer much more than just being caregivers.She said women can be submissive while still fulfilling their potentials. The Minister also made calls for women to be more involved in decision-making.“We must have the opportunity to excel like the man…to be equal, if we’re equally qualified, we must have the equal pay…Men, give us a chance…Women must be decision makers and we must be present to make decisions that affect us”, Adams-Yearwood said.Managing Director of GWI, Dr Van West-Charles in his remarks also spoke of the importance of recognising the approach of “balance” and working towards it to achieve a better society.“Recognising that if we embrace this approach of balance, we’d have better homes, and to have better homes as a country we have as a society to deal with one of the major scourges of domestic violence; we’d have better workplaces; we’d have better communities; we’d have better regions, we’d have better countries and we’d have a better world”, he added.The GWI boss added that the road to gender equality still requires a collective vision to provide us with a sustainable future. He said the company, in playing its part, has embarked on ensuring that its programmes are strategically organised to bring balance.In understanding balance, he said it is important to understand the determinants of imbalance as he pointed to the difficulties faced by women in accessing water.Linden Mayor, Waneka Arrindell in her remarks reflected on the evolution and challenges of women in taking up places in the workplace, noting that “Each time a woman stands for herself, she stands for all women”.“I have always been taught that our men should be there to protect us. When and what caused this trend to change is not the issue today. The issue today is the fact that when women realised that they were unable to depend fully on men to provide for their basic needs they willingly stepped up and started to infiltrate the workforces,” Arrindell said.She also commended women, noting that though they are taking up places in the workplace, they still find time to take care of their children. Arrindell said the theme could not be more fitting, as the soil is now ripe for women to expand, excel and create change.“I believe that the women of yesteryear could not deny that their world was not going to survive if they did not step in…Just imagine what the world would be like if they did not rise to the challenges, and I thank God that they did because I would not have been here if it was not for those women.”GWI also presented a number of women with bouquets, hampers and tokens as a symbol of appreciation.