JIS News

The Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS) and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs and Gender Affairs will observe International Women’s Day on March 8, 2008, with the staging of the first-ever all-female performers fund raising concert proposed for the National Indoor Centre in Kingston.
Details of this major fund-raising event were outlined today at a planning meeting hosted by Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange’ at Jamaica House and attended by a special committee comprising representatives from the Ministry, the Women’s Bureau and the music industry.
Presented under the theme ‘Financing for Gender Equality’, Minister Grange disclosed that proceeds from the event would go towards the Women’s Crisis Centre Foundation for the construction of a shelter for battered women and to assist teenage mothers to continue their education in order to get their lives back on track. Miss Grange said the Women’s Centre, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, had provided meaningful assistance to over 35,000 young women and teenagers, many of whom are now professionals and contributing meaningfully to society. Miss Grange said her Ministry was now partnering with Gender Affairs to help raise funds and to promote the entity.
Describing the move as one which she hoped would create greater awareness to help empower women, Executive Director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Mrs. Faith Webster said the event would also provide more recognition for female artistes. She expressed the hope that through this event, the Bureau would help to raise self esteem and promote gender equality. Mrs. Webster said the United Nations which will be observing the Status of Women at a special conference February 25-March 8, will be focusing on the need to find new and innovative ways to raise funds to assist women. She said the need for providing shelters was always high on the agenda and this event would provide great assistance to women and young girls.
Music producer of Reggae Sunsplash Fame, Ronnie Burke is among the members of the planning committee. He welcomed the move as one which the country needs to see and to appreciate. Several female singers, dancers, and dub poets have already been confirmed for the March 8 fund raiser and music lecturer and former Third World band leader, Ibo Cooper, is putting together an all-female band from the Edna Manley School of the Performing Arts, to back the performers.

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