Gov’t to Introduce Programmes to Address Gender Equality

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Hon. Olivia Grange (right) makes a point while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank held on December 1 at the Agency’s head office in Kingston. At left is Director, Policy and Research of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Robinson.

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be introducing several new community-based programmes next year to address issues of gender equality, with emphasis on men.
  • Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service Think Tank held at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange said that greater focus will be placed on men.
  • The Minister noted that steps have been taken in the past by the Ministry in addressing issues of gender mainstreaming.

The Government will be introducing several new community-based programmes next year to address issues of gender equality, with emphasis on men.

Jamaica is a signatory to several regional and international agreements to reaffirm its commitment to gender equality and equity for the achievement of the country’s sustainable development goals.

Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service Think Tank held at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange said that greater focus will be placed on men.

She said the Ministry recognized that it was necessary to “treat with the issues of men and not just focus on women.”

“Because it’s not just about addressing the issues that affect women and girls but addressing the issues that affect our men because the women can’t do without the men and the men can’t do without the women and we are speaking to gender mainstreaming as our objective,” Ms. Grange said.

The Minister noted that steps have been taken in the past by the Ministry in addressing issues of gender mainstreaming.

She mentioned that changing the name of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, to the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) and the establishment of a male desk at the Bureau were some of the initiatives taken by the government.

“This small step in establishing the male desk is a step in the right direction. It’s a facility within the Bureau that symbolically indicates and send the message to men that this entity that exists, is not only about dealing with women and women’s issues but the focus is gender mainstreaming, gender equality and gender equity,” she said.

Director of Policy and Research of the BGA Sharon Robinson, who attended the Think Tank said that the National Policy for Gender Equality clearly outlines the need to have a focus on men to make it definitive that the Bureau did not just focus on women.

“The name change would have been significant because it would have allowed us to move into that space that says that we are embracing men because it is so important to have them at the table,” she said.

Miss Robinson said that research has indicated that men want to be part of the discussions on gender issues, noting that several sessions were held with men to find out how the male desk should function.

“It’s best to have the persons you are going to reach speak to what it is that they want,” she added.

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