Gertie Wood’s name has appeared at fleeting moments on the periphery of scholarship on the Guyanese women’s movement. As such not much has been said or published on the significant volume of work and activism she undertook for women and girls in British Guiana. Social worker, women’s rights activist, accomplished concert artist, and politician, Wood was sometimes the sole female voice articulating for women and equitable conditions of work in the period of her greatest activity, the 1930s. She was vigorous, sustained and varied in her progressive activism on behalf of women in an age where women’s voices and activity outside of charitable work were seen as subversive.
There were women, before and after, who openly addressed and were proactive on gender, political and trade union issues. But in many respects Wood was a pioneer before her more prominent successors in the women’s movement.
Wood preceded in activism some of the more prominent names that followed in her footsteps. The work of Hazel Woolford and Roberta Kilkenny, among others, has identified these early pioneering women of social activism including Frances Stafford, Marie Bayley, Gertrude Collins, Johanna Harris, Governors’ wives, and of course the even more recognized names such as Jessica Huntley, Janet Jagan and Winifred Gaskin.
But for the 1930s, one name stood out, Gertie Wood. Read more about this amazing activist by clicking the link below.