SASOD meets with Minister of Social Cohesion to discuss areas of collaboration
Minister of Social Cohesion, Ms. Amna Ally, on Friday, met with the Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Mr. Joel Simpson and Social Change Coordinator, Mr. Jairo Rodrigues, to discuss possible areas of collaboration between SASOD and the department of Social Cohesion.
Among the items on the agenda which were of particular concern to SASOD, were education, especially as it relates to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community, the youth population and the high number of school drop outs, employment and discrimination in the workplace.
Programmes which have been undertaken by the organization to tackle the suicide epidemic in Guyana were also discussed.
The representative of SASOD highlighted discriminatory treatment that was meted out to young persons in the education sector who displayed a ‘different’ sexual orientation. The SASOD representatives also expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which the LGBT community in Guyana is treated by members of the society and the high level of homophobic attitude which persists in the country.
Minister Ally assured the team that the Government does not practice discrimination and as such will not condone it. She assured the representatives that her Ministry will take the lead and give guidance to its sister Ministries to ensure that discriminatory practices are not permitted within Government institutions.
In an invited comment, Mr. Rodrigues said the organisation will be looking to work closely with the Ministry in the near future to ensure that the rights of all citizens are upheld.
SASOD, is a member of the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s peer group, which comprises representatives of the current government, Opposition, civil society, academia, the private sector, religious groups, women and youth, with a mandate of designing and guiding the citizens consultation process for the formulation of the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s five-year strategic plan.