Guyana women footballers: We’re fed up of systemic bias; why are our dreams less valuable than the men’s?

“[…] We feel the impact of years of systemic bias. We have been relegated to second-class citizens because of our gender even though our records and accomplishments are amongst the best across the Caribbean region.

“[…] Imagine how disheartening it is to hear the men get paid for matches in addition to not having to buy their own practice kits or pay for their own practice fields…”

Photo: The Guyana Women’s National Senior Team prepare to face Trinidad and Tobago in the 2018 CFU Challenge Series.

The following letter was submitted to Guyana Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr and First Lady Arya Ali by Guyana Senior Women’s National Football Team players Brittany Persaud, Caleigh Copland, Chante Sandiford, Hannah Baptiste, Kayla De Souza, Brianna De Souza, Annalisa Vincent, Brianne Desa, and Tuandi Smith:

As members of the Guyana Women’s National Football Team,  […] we are writing to express our frustrations around the unfair and inequitable distribution of resources and supports provided the female participants in comparison to our male counterparts. 


We feel the impact of years of systemic bias. We have been relegated to second-class citizens because of our gender even though our records and accomplishments are amongst the best across the Caribbean region. 

A few of these highlights include:

  1. Guyana’s record setting quarter-final placement at U-20 Concacaf in 2020;
  2. The highest ranking in the world, male or female, in the Fifa world ranking of #75 in 2018;
  3. Guyana’s first outing at a Concacaf Olympic qualifier in 2016;
  4. Guyana’s first outing at a major Concacaf tournament, male or female, in 2010 when the ‘Lady Jags’ qualified and competed at the Women’s Gold Cup 
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Jo Marie Lewis (right) tries to close down Guyana defender Leah Ramalho during Concacaf 2016 Olympic qualifying action in Houston.
(Copyright CONCACAF)

Despite these accomplishments, our Women’s Senior National Team has sat dormant for three years while the Men’s Team continue to play multiple games each year.

Unlike the men’s program, our coaches and staff are volunteers and our players receive no funding to offset the costs of national team participation. Families and players must make financial contributions so that we can have an opportunity to play.

Imagine how disheartening it is to hear the men get paid for matches in addition to not having to buy their own practice kits or pay for their own practice fields. 

The financial support to the men’s program at the exclusion of the women’s program is wrong and must stop. Every member of our team has sacrificed to help drive the goal of elevating the role of women in the sport of football across Guyana.

Photo: Guyana women footballers are requesting treatment on par with the men’s football team.
(Copyright GFF)

We are happy to serve as role models, but the burden should not be ours alone to bear. 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. 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 covering [our] progression around the world from the inception. He has been the singular voice in trying to bring some resolution and it was through his suggestion for us to bring this situation to your attention that we write. 

[…] We look forward to developing equality within football which will foster and nurture the next generation of female leaders across Guyana and the Caribbean. 

Best Wishes, 

Photo: Members of the Guyana Women’s National Senior Team.

PS: Please feel free to engage Mr Toney for any clarification on our profound success and for his candid and unbiased opinion of the treatment of women’s football. 

We believe that this issue is bigger than the Guyana Football Federation and we’re in urgent need of your intervention.

Editor’s Note: The Guyana Football Federation’s pay structure for its men’s players in the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign is understood to be:

Match fee: US$350 (starter), US$250 (substitute appearance), US$150 (unused substitute);

Per diem for first four days: US$50;

Win bonus (payable to entire squad): US$100;

Goal bonus (payable to entire squad): US$25 per goal up to maximum of four goals.

More from Wired868
“We’ve to make sure this doesn’t happen again!” Corneal on U-20 Women’s humiliation and T&T football restart 

“[…] It is very difficult [to be head coach of two national football teams at once] because it means your Read more

Euphoria and anguish, delight and disarray as T&T Women hold off Guyana to stay alive in Bacolet

At the final whistle in the Dwight Yorke Stadium last night, the reaction from the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Read more

Hutchinson strikes late as T&T Women survive Guyana scare to advance with 2-2 draw in Bacolet

The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team are through to the 2022 Concacaf W Championship after a last-gasp Lauryn Read more

‘Whatever it takes!’ Guyana’s ‘Lady Jags’ aim to upset Trinidad and Tobago in do-or-die qualifier

“We have to win,” said Guyana Women’s National Senior Team captain and central defender Kayla De Souza, at a virtual Read more

‘We’re in a good place!’ Jones explains squad shuffle and composition as T&T prepare for Guyana showdown

The team that advances from Group F in the Concacaf W Championship qualifying phase—and only Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana Read more

Guyana women held by Nicaragua; T&T can top group with Turks & Caicos win

The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team’s chances of advancing to the 2022 Concacaf W Championship received a strong Read more

Check Also

Noble: Sojourner’s truth: Ain’t I a Woman?

At the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, a former enslaved woman, Sojourner Truth, …

2 comments

  1. The two photos of the Guyanese Women’s Team remind me of the photos of the French teams of the 21st Century; without a caption, you’d NEVER be able to correctly guess the country the people in the photo are supposed to represent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.