- Age: 28
- | He/him/his
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
Young people are in a unique position to re-educate each other, break oppressive cycles, and be the energy behind social change. The knowledge and application of sexual and reproductive health do just that. It allows us to take ownership of our bodies, stand up for our rights, reject injustices, and defend others. The ultimate accomplishment of this would be just, equitable, and empowered societies.
- Jairo Rodrigues
Jairo is an award-winning Human Rights and Social Development Programme Coordinator. A Caribbean citizen of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, he specialises in social change projects and advocacy methodologies on gender relations, sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, LGBT rights, and youth development.
In 2015 he received a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations from The University of Guyana, after which he began his career in political lobbying and community mobilisation – engaging with vulnerable populations, civil society, businesses, and political stakeholders – for gender and social development from the human rights perspective. In 2022 he received a Master of Arts with Distinction in Gender Analysis in International Development from the University of East Anglia. He is currently a Senior Gender Affairs Officer of the Government of Guyana’s Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, holding responsibilities for Policy Coordination and Gender Mainstreaming.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
There was never really an ignition, it was more of a sizzle that got hotter as I aged. Growing up, I experienced and observed that I live in a society with alarming rates of gender-based violence and discrimination against sexual and gender minorities. As I learned and grew, so did my voice and social change strategies against these inequalities and injustices.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
Working with indigenous youth in a village called Annai in Guyana’s hinterland was a great advocacy win for me. The adolescents were so interested in learning more about their sexual and reproductive rights. Almost a year later when I re-visited the community, I learned that a few of the students were working on a community group to share what they had learned with other indigenous villages.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love adventures and the thrill of new experiences! I really enjoy my own vibes and being around people with the same positive energy. I love taking road trips, camping, and traveling; if I am not on an adventure, then chilling with friends at a games or movies nite with a plateful of pizza, chicken wings, and fries would be just as epic!
- English (Advanced/Native)
- family planning resources and legal abortions for girls and young women in the Caribbean
- LGBT+ rights and inclusivity in Caribbean societies
- youth participation in policy analysis
- political lobbying and community advocacy for SRHR
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- University of East Anglia International Excellence Scholarship + Government of Guyana Scholarship (July 2021)
- Hoogvlieger Award, Humanitarian Communications Awards of the Expertise Centre Humanitarian Communication (2021)
- Latin America and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACWHN) Youth and Human Rights Defender on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (August 2018)
- Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) Regional Advocate for completing the Caribbean LGBTI Leadership Academy (August-December 2017)
- Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD Guyana) Peer-Educator on Sex-Positive Sexual Health Programme (May 2016)