The Women and Gender Equality Commission has joined the call for justice as citizens and organizations across the county continue to express outrage over the alleged actions of Local Government Minister, Nigel Dharamlall.

A 16-year-old girl has alleged that the Minister raped and even sodomized her. He has since been charged and released on $1M bail.

Please see full statement from the Women and Gender Equality Commission below.

The Women and Gender Equality Commission supports the action taken by the Government to have the latest incident involving Minister Nigel Dharamlall Minister of Local Government and Rural Development thoroughly investigated.

There is an urgent need for the elimination of the culture that permits bad behavior. We must insist that those who make the laws are mandated to uphold them at all times.  Anyone who breaks the law must bear the consequences of their action.

Men in society, who hold positions of power should be held to account for their actions especially those that lead to the oppression and victimisation of women and young girls, in particular those who come from less privileged circumstances. Women, especially girls, should not be treated in a way that denies their humanity and violates their rights.

Every citizen has the right to defend them self against any type of violation. The advent of social media and technology empowers any victim to expose within minutes any violation of their rights.

Patriarchy and its offensive and violent consequences in Guyana have been addressed in our laws, not least the Sexual Offences Act and our Inheritance laws that are on the books to give voice to victims of these brutish and unlawful practices.

Therefore, persons in society especially in the social, economic and political sphere who use their privileges to exploit or oppress those who they see as below their real or perceived authority must take warning.

Patriarchy exists in all forms of social structures – in families, in schools, in workplaces, in financial institutions and exists in all positions of power that are male dominated.

Much work has been done by decision makers at all levels, in government, in civil society and Community Based Organisations, women’s organizations and groups across the country to empower women to speak up for their rights and to report when there is an infraction against their rights.

This culture that allows for the violation of women human rights must come to an end. It is not business as usual. Enough is enough!


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