UPP condemns Gender Affairs Minister for remarks on children ‘consenting’ to sex

St. George MP Dean Jonas

The United Progressive Party’s Leadership, Membership and Women’s Forum condemn Dean Jonas, Minister of Gender Affairs, for his insensitive and flawed remarks implying that an underaged girl can consent to sex with an adult male.

Jonas made the remark during an interview on ABS Television, yesterday, November 25, at the start of the observance of  16 Days of Activism.  

The MP for St. George said that sexual relations between a girl of 13 or 14 and a man of maybe twice her age, in certain circumstances, could be said to have the consent of the minor.

“This is very unfortunate,” Political Leader Harold Lovell says.  “At a time like this, when the focus is on getting the public – especially males – to realize that any type of violence against women and girls is wrong, the Minister’s comments are particularly jarring.

“The violation of a child is an extremely serious and disgusting matter that demands condemnation and prosecution.  Not rationalization,” Lovell adds.  “And for a Member of Parliament to remove responsibility from the adult and place it on the child is simply inexcusable.”


Meanwhile, General Secretary Senator Shawn Nicholas says that Jonas ought to be fired for his ignorant and insensitive comments, which, she says, amount to providing a rationale for raping a minor.  

“Under the laws of Antigua & Barbuda, 16 years is the age of consent, and the Minister knows that!  Therefore, there can be no explanation or excuse for his statements,” the Senator declares.

She says she speaks for every member of the Party’s Women’s Forum in expressing her disgust for the Gender Affairs Minister.  “Childhood ought to be sacred, and children must be allowed to be children,” Nicholas says.  “The responsibility of the Minister is to ensure they are protected; not exploited under the guise of non-existent ‘consent.’”

Ironically, the 16 Days of Activism that Jonas was endorsing at the time he made the remarks are aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what MP Jonas said.

    At one time in this very country it was legal for a 13 years old child to give consent because the age of consent was 9 years old.

    Because they change the law by moving some numbers around does that change the fundamental argument.

    Now vonsent can be given at age 17 if the law is changed to let’s say 21 all of a sudden a 17 year old that had a right no longer has it.

    Mr Lovell there are many low hanging fruits that you are not capitalizing on may I suggest that you zero in on them.

    Who authored the letter to Asot? The answer to that question can bring the author down and cause a collapse within the ABLP.

    • You are a disgusting person in base of your comment… The law is to protect those girls that may be under influence of adult and do sex in early age.. an adult can easily change the way of thinking of a girl.. or a boy.. so we need to protect them by law… 16 is good for now, but not enough.

      • Very sick to think no it’s appropriate for a 9 year old or 13 year old or 14 year old child to be engaged in sex with anyone especially an adult.

        Just gross.

    • Melchesidec I must disagree with your comment. What Dean Jonas said ie, that a minor may give her consent to sex; while de facto (in fact) she may have given consent, de jure (in law) she cannot give consent. Dean Jonas as the Minister of Gender Affairs should know that fundamental difference and what he said was pure ignorance and nonsensical.

      • @Charles Tabor
        You and your party and everyone knows and fully understands what the Minister was saying..
        Twisting it in the direction of the letter of what he said is disingenuous.

        Because the law says it is so it is so does not automatically compute to reality. I stand by my comments.

        And you fully well know what the man said is a matter of fact.

        • Melchesidec all I have said is that he should have been aware of the law particularly since he is the Minister of Gender Affairs. Again, I repeat a minor cannot grant consent SO THE ISSUE OF CONSENT SHOULD NEVER BE A PART OF THE DISCUSSION. That is simply the LAW. No one is using this for any political advantage. The fact is what the Minister said was mindboggling.

          • @Charles Tabor

            I agree with your point.

            Knowing what the minister struggled to articulate, how would you have framed it for public consumption?

            And you fully well know what he tried to put forward.

          • 6. (1) Where a male person has sexual intercourse with a sexual intercourse
            female person who is not his wife with her consent and who has with female
            attained the age of fourteen yexs but has not yet attainedthe age
            of sixteen years, he is guilty of an offence, and is liable on
            conviction to imprisonment for ten years.
            (2) A male person is not guilty of an offence under subsec-
            tion (1) –
            (a) if he honestly believed that the female person was
            sixteen years of age or more; or
            (b) if the male person is not more than three years older
            than the female person and the court is of the opinion
            that the evidence discloses that as between the male
            person and the female person, the male person is not
            wholly or substantially to blame.

            Do pray tell Mr Lawyer where is this law found.

  2. Dean Jonas, shame on you! May God have mercy on your soul! SMH! So a 13 or 14 year old “GIRL” can give consent to you a 50+ year old to have sex! Would you like that for your daughter? Hell no!!!!!
    Let’s go women’s group, churches… DO NOT LET THIS ONE SLIDE.😡

  3. Man change laws by going to parliament not on the citizens interest but for their own selfish desires. Self destruction is going to start soon.

  4. Its funny hearing the UPP try to muddy the water because during the interview MP Jonas stated underage sex is illegal. His talk re consent regarded how the victim (many) saw it hence did not report it. He pressed the importance of getting gender affairs involved to aid the victim in understanding their options. He highlighted the strong laws we have in place to deal with this issue. But Oh yes, the UPP finds it important to leave out those statements. No doubt the public will again punish the UPP for their continued attempts to distort reality

  5. Some of you’ll on here SICK AS *#@$ EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO THROWUP !!

  6. BLACK HYPOCRISY the law is the Sexual Offences Act no. 9 of 1995. What else do you need to know or have explained to you.

    • Well then what the minister said was not wrong. 14 year old girl can give consent and what makes it illegal is her age. So your answer to Melchesidec wrong.

      • BLACK HYPOCRISY don’t you realize what you are saying is a contradiction in terms. A 14 year old girl can give consent, but it would be illegal because of her age. I am sure you have many friends who are lawyers so I would suggest you seek their advice.

Comments are closed.