The Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO) paid tribute to former President, the late Janet Jagan by way of a wreath-laying ceremony on the occasion of her ninth death anniversary on Friday last.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was the guest speaker at the event, which was held at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant, Corentyne.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo along with members of the WPO at the wreath-laying ceremony on FridayThe Chicago, US-born Janet Jagan served as President of Guyana from December 19, 1997, to August 11, 1999. She was 77 years old when she succeeded her husband, Cheddi, after his passing, becoming the first female President of Guyana. She previously served as the first female Prime Minister from March 17, 1997 to December 19, 1997.Jagan was awarded Guyana’s highest national award, the Order of Excellence in 1993, and the Mahatma Gandhi Gold Medal for Women’s Rights in 1998.She also served as a Member of Parliament and as Minister of Home Affairs, Labour, Health and Housing.In 1963, Time magazine described her as “the most controversial woman in South American politics since Eva Peron”, partly because she was a “strident Marxist” who many believed was the “brains and backbone” behind Cheddi’s Government.Addressing the hundreds at Babu Jaan, former President Jagdeo referred to the late leader as a fighter. He said the challenges we face today were nothing compared to what she experienced.“Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan in the darkest days never lost hope, they kept our party intact, they kept their minds focused and changed this country. They fought for independence and got it, and then for the return of democracy, and so, the challenges we face now are nothing compared to what they faced, so we in this generation should not lose focus,” Jagdeo stated.Nevertheless, Jagdeo called on the women present to take up more active roles in the Party while advocating for more women to join the WPO.He said women in the PPP have an enormous role to play. Meanwhile, he urged the WPO to set a target of getting to 5000 members.