Male Desk at Bureau of Gender Affairs

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (right), speaks on gender issues at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held recently 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

  • Men who have been abused or need counselling can seek help at a special service desk for men that has been re-established at the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA).
  • Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Director of Policy and Research of the BGA, Sharon Robinson, said that one of the main reasons for establishing the desk was to ensure that reports can be lodged at the Bureau.
  • She said that men who do not want to report a matter to the police can speak with members of the Jamaica Crime Observatory (JCO), which provides data on crime and violence. She said the JCO is a part of the bigger network of services that are available for victims of violence as well as perpetrators.

Men who have been abused or need counselling can seek help at a special service desk for men that has been re-established at the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA).

Reports can be made at the desk situated at the BGA, 5-9 South Odeon Avenue, Kingston 10. Persons can call 618-1496-9 or 754-8576 -8.

Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Director of Policy and Research of the BGA, Sharon Robinson, said that one of the main reasons for establishing the desk was to ensure that reports can be lodged at the Bureau.

“Men have complained that in some cases when they lodge a complaint with the police, it is trivialised and they are ridiculed and they are made to feel as if there is something wrong with them, or they are not man enough or macho enough. So they have complained to us and we have been able to refer and monitor their complaints,” she said.

She said that men who do not want to report a matter to the police can speak with members of the Jamaica Crime Observatory (JCO), which provides data on crime and violence. She said the JCO is a part of the bigger network of services that are available for victims of violence as well as perpetrators.

“We have six persons who are committee members, or other service providers, who are able to take the complaints,” she indicated.

Ms. Robinson said that reports can also be made to the Victims Services Division of the Ministry of Justice.

“They will give you advice and direct you in terms of where to go and take your information and pass it to the police, and that is fed into the Crime Observatory so we can know what is happening, where the incidents are taking place and who are the ones affected,” she explained.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who addressed the Think Tank, said the rebranding of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs as the Bureau of Gender Affairs on March 21, was to facilitate “an inclusive approach to the promotion of gender equality, economic balance and growth and sustainable development”.

She said the BGA will undertake several male-centred initiatives to engage men and boys to create gender-equitable norms.

These include community-based collaborative programmes, gender mainstreaming within ministries, departments and agencies and non-governmental organisations; and creating conditions for men and boys to redefine norms of manhood.

According to Minister Grange, the Bureau’s engagements are designed to inspire multiple stakeholders to take steps against gender-based discrimination and violence, engage men as advocates to raise their voices against violence, and to take action for the achievement of gender equality.

It will also engage men as mentors to impart positive life skills and lessons to promote behavioural change, she added.

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