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Janet Jagan: President, Guyana, 1997-1999, d.2009

Empowering Women Around the World

Janet Jagan: President, Guyana, 1997-1999, d.2009

IN MEMORY: In 1997, Janet Jagan made history, becoming the first female president of Guyana. Prior to her time as President, she worked with her husband, Cheddi Jagan, in his dental practice in Guyana in 1943. Guyana held its first truly free elections in roughly three decades in 1992. As a result, Cheddi Jagan became the country’s new executive president. As the first lady of Guyana, Janet Jagan held several special positions. After her husband’s death in March 1997, Janet Jagan became the country’s first female prime minister and first vice president. She also became the PPP’s candidate for the elections held in December. That same year, she won the Gandhi Gold Medal for Peace, Democracy and Women’s Rights from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). While she was forced to resign in 1999 for health reason, Jagan remained an active member of the PPP.