– Ask for the help of First Lady and the Minister of Sport

The Guyana Senior Women’s National Football Team, commonly referred to as the Lady Jags, has taken the bold initiative of writing a letter to First Lady Arya Ali and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. their frustrations on some aspects of the Program for women in Guyana.
“As members of the Guyana Women’s National Football Team, first of all let us congratulate and commend you on the incredible work that has been done since taking office. You have been an inspiration to young people in Guyana and the diaspora, and we admire your effort to provide equality and equality of opportunity for girls and young women.
“We are writing to express our frustrations about the unfair and unfair distribution of resources and support provided the female participants are compared to our male counterparts,” the Lady Jags letter is quoted as saying.
Punished by nearly half the women’s team, locally and internationally, the girls provided details of some of the stellar team’s successes, in drawing a contrast between the resources provided for the male team compared to the female team .
They wrote, “We are feeling the impact of years of systemic prejudice. We have been passed on to second-class citizens because of our gender despite our records and achievements being among the best across the Caribbean region.

“Some of these highlights include:
1) Guyana’s record quarterfinal set at CONCACAF U-20 in 2020
2) The highest ranking in the world, male or female, is FIFA’s world ranking of # 75 in 2018
3) Guyana’s first trip in CONCACAF Olympic Qualification in 2016
4) Guyana’s first outing at a major CONCACAF Tournament, male or female, in 2010 when the Lady Jags qualified and competed in the Women’s Gold Cup
“Despite these achievements, our Senior Women’s National Team has sat idle for three years while the men’s team continues to play multiple games each year.
“Unlike the men’s program, our coaches and staff are volunteers, and our players receive no money to offset the costs of national team participation. Families and players have to make financial contributions so we can have a chance to play.
“Imagine how depressing it is to hear the men being paid for games as well as not having to buy their own training kits or pay for their own practice areas. The financial support for the men’s program in excluding the women’s program is wrong, and it must end.
“Every member of our team has made sacrifices to help drive the goal of promoting the role of women in the sport of football across Guyana. We are happy to serve as role models, but the burden should not be alone.
“Many of the women who have signed this letter have been with the program since 2009. We are united in our call for equal and fair treatment.”
Without passing any blame to the local Federation, the Guyana Football Federation, the girls asked for a formal meeting with the First Lady and the Minister of Sport, to better voice their concerns.
“We want to thank you for taking the time to hear our concerns, and would like to request a meeting with you. In fact, this issue was first raised by Sports Journalist Rawle Toney, who has been dealing with over-sequencing worldwide from the very beginning. He has been the lone voice in trying to bring some determination, and it is through his suggestion that we bring this situation to your attention.
“He has spoken out loud about you and Dr Irfaan Ali’s impressive resume since taking office in helping to build a better Guyana and, more importantly, your Government’s effort to develop sport for all Guyanese.
“We are looking to develop equality within football, which will nurture and nurture the next generation of female leaders throughout Guyana and the Caribbean,” the communication concluded.

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