Inquiry into sexual allegation of female referees gets underway today

-five-member panel is all female

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) will launch its Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the sexual harassment of female referees by match officials and administrators today at the Olympic House, Liliendaal.

The five-member, all-female commission comprises Chairman and former Normalization Committee member Dr. Karen Pilgrim, Vice President of the Guyana Olympic Association, Dr. Melissa Ifill of the University of Guyana, Karen Joseph, Human Resources Consultant, Karen De Souza, Red Thread and Joy Nichola Marcus-Red, also of Red Thread.

“The objectives of the COI include, but are not limited to the following: to develop a policy against sexual harassment for referees in Guyana; to evolve a permanent mechanism for the prevention and redress of sexual harassment cases; to ensure the implementation of the policy in letter and spirit through proper reporting of the complaints and their follow-up procedures; to create a secure physical and social environment to deter any act of sexual harassment and to promote a social and psychological environment to raise awareness on sexual harassment in its various forms,”  a release from the GFF stated.

Public participation is allowed and encouraged and all hearing will be done in camera. Individuals giving testimony can be accompanied by a Counsel or Advocate.

Additionally, persons wishing to submit oral or written statements are asked to contact the COI via email gff.listens@ or telephone number 660 4289. The deadline for submissions is April 13, 2018.

The GFF has faced heavy criticism for their failure to tackle the issue of sexual harassment, with female referees alleging that members of the GFF executive committee inclusive of its President has been aware of the issues since 2016.

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