Nandlall champions legislation to ensure women are treated equally in private, public life
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, Friday joined other world leaders in championing the call for legislation to support the global push towards greater gender parity and sensitivity.
His address was made during the 145th IPU Assembly being held in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme: “Gender equality and gender-sensitive Parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world,”
The AG used the opportunity to assure the Assembly that the Guyana government supports equality and equal treatment in all its facets and across every sector of society.
“Concomitantly, we eschew and strike down the scourge of discrimination whenever it raises its ugly head in any form or fashion. Naturally, therefore, we embrace the thematic objective of this conference and we pledge our unwavering support to the IPU Assembly as it strives to prosecute this noble ideal,” he said.
Nandlall said while there is much work to do, a good start is to push for legislation to be implemented in member states that would engender greater gender parity in their Parliaments.
This, he said, must be done simultaneously as the world continues to canvass for the removal of all institutional and systematic structures, legislation, policies and programmes which perpetuate gender inequality across the States’ apparatus.
“Although gender equality is entrenched in the Charter of the United Nations, and forms part of the fundamental guarantees of governing instruments of similar organisations across the globe, and are ensconced in the Constitutions and laws of most countries, the reality paints a starkly different picture, in particular, as it relates to the membership of Parliaments around the world,” Nandlall reasoned.
He noted that only three of 193 countries surveyed have 50 per cent or more female membership in their Parliaments. Some 143 countries have below 30 percent of female membership and still, several countries have no women representation in their Parliaments.
Speaking on the situation in Guyana, where there is 31 per cent of women MPs, Nandlall said the country has begun this process a long time ago, but admittedly, it remains a work in progress.
Guyana currently has a strong network of legislation, policies and programmes that outlaw gender and other forms of discrimination and which protect women and children from ills such as sexual abuse, domestic violence and trafficking in persons as well as human trafficking.
“In short, we are playing our small part and I wish to assure this Assembly that it has a willing partner in Guyana, and I daresay, the entire Caribbean region.”