GWI All-Male Corporate Leadership Team Breaches Guyana’s Constitution and Laws

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Mr. Editor,

This letter from the Women and Gender Equality Commission is addressed to Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues who are responsible for Housing and Water.

The Commission for Women and Gender Equality (WGEC) is appalled by the all-male corporate management team of eleven Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) members and calls for your intervention to correct this violation flagrant Guiana principles and constitutional provisions for gender equality.

● Guyana’s Constitution has provided for gender equality since 1980 with Article 29: 1.

● In 1981 Guyana signed and ratified the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

● The Equal Rights Act (1990) was enacted to enforce article 29: 1 of the Constitution on the principle of equality between women and men.

● In 2003, CEDAW was enshrined in Guyana’s Constitution and made enforceable under Article 154A.

● Guyana has signed and ratified the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which are the global goals for all nations. Goal 5 of the SDGs is the cross-cutting goal: “Gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls” and promotes “generational equality” as its mandate.

The GWI must move forward into the second decade of the 21st century and behave as if it is aligned with Guyana’s constitutional and legal frameworks and its global commitments that uphold gender equality. It is a well-known statistic all over the world that it is women who are mainly affected by the water supply and where there is no constant water supply in the houses – are the main carriers of the water chore, etc. The latter situation applies to Guyana in many marginalized communities in urban, peri-urban, rural and hinterland communities. Women must be represented equally in all decision-making bodies – especially those in which they are most affected.

GWI’s eleven-member, all-male corporate leadership team is a gross affront to all Guyanese and violates Guyana’s Constitution and laws that uphold gender equality. The WGEC calls for this anomaly to be immediately corrected to include gender participation at least equal to what exists in the National Assembly. We further wish to advise decision makers to keep in mind the Sustainable Development Goals 5 in which 50-50 by 2030 is the expected outcome. Therefore, it is urgent that all re-educate themselves to this reality.

Truly,

Indrania Chandarpal

On behalf of the commissioners

Women and gender equality

Commission


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