APNU+AFC attacks against Education Minister ‘distasteful, misogynistic’ – Teixeira

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira, Education Minister Priya Manickchand, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament Sherod Duncan

Statement issued by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira 

The latest video/song posted on Sherod Duncan’s Facebook “Priya is a Wild Hog,” is another act that illustrates the depths of depravity that permeate the PNC/APNU/AFC and Guyana Teachers Union circles.

The lyrics of the song are close renditions of the distasteful chants used during the PNC/APNU/AFC and Guyana Teachers Union attempted protests. Whilst many of these chants went unnoticed, “Rape! Rape! Priya trying to rape we” was undeniably among the most abrasive and abhorrent statements to be made about a Guyanese woman.

President Ali and his Cabinet are shocked by this, yet another occurrence in a stream of incidents of bullyism, sexism and misogyny on social media and in street protests. These have progressively worsened, more so since the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.

One cannot help remembering the public personal attacks by the then Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams against professional women in government service in 2016 and 2017. Remember too, the vile racist and sexist attacks and threats to the safety of the Canadian High Commissioner H.E. Chatterjee, and US Ambassador H.E. Sarah Ann Lynch, who dared to represent the positions of their principals in their capitals supporting the democratic will of the people be upheld.

One must also not forget the stream of abuse and intimidation targeting met out to the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Motley, in 2020.

These few examples demonstrate a pattern of reprehensible behaviour that is of such decadence that it is undermines the values and laws of our society.

One must ask: How can the leaders of the Guyana Teachers Union, an organization comprised overwhelmingly by women, and, who teach girls in our schools, representing 50% of the school population, support songs and chants which surreptitiously mock the pervasive crime of rape? How can parents trust these teachers with their daughters?

One must ask: Where are the women’s and rights organizations that were so active in 2011 condemning a former Minister? Their somnambulism over the last 10 years is instructive.

One must ask, do they still exist? Or are they so compromised that it is acceptable to harass, threaten and disingenuously implicate a PPP/C woman and subject her to other criminal acts?

As Guyanese we should be outraged by these escalating incidences fermented and orchestrated by the PNC/APNU/AFC leaders and activists, and, now joined by the Guyana Teachers Union, and denounce them with no conditions.

If we fail as a people to stop this behaviour then all of our daughters, sisters, nieces, female cousins, wives, grandmothers, aunts, girlfriends, fiancés, and female friends will all be in great danger of being victims to this bullyism, sexism and misogyny, and worse yet, rape and other sexual offences.

This is the time for all to condemn this behaviour as unacceptable and to dissociate publicly from all who promote this depravity, and, threaten the safety of all women and girls in our country.

September 14, 2021