JIS News

The Bureau of Women’s Affairs has joined the growing list of organizations and public officials in commending the Broadcasting Commission for its decision to ban songs with explicit sexual content from the nation’s airwaves.
“We welcome this decision because I think it has been long overdue,” said Executive Director of the Bureau, Faith Webster, in an interview with JIS News.
“We are happy now to know that it is being addressed because we simply can’t continue to allow women and girls and the society at large to be subjected to such unhealthy lyrical content,” she added.
According to Mrs. Webster, music is a powerful medium of socialization, based on its ability to influence the thoughts, expressions and actions of children.
“They (children) internalize what they hear and what they see. Children live what they learn and particularly from adults and persons whom they see as celebrities and role models,” she pointed out.
She told JIS News that from workshops on gender-based violence carried out by the Bureau in a number of communities and schools, it has been found that music with explicit sexual and violent content contribute to lowering the dignity and self esteem of young girls.
“We have to work with these girls to try to change what they actually believe from what they are hearing and what they actually believe about themselves,” Mrs. Webster pointed.
“We have had to speak to young girls explaining to them the issue of valuing themselves, having that sense of dignity as a girl, as a woman. We have to be trying to bring that back because what they are hearing in these songs, it is telling them that they are less than what they really are, they are just an object to be used and that sex is not something that is supposed to be pleasurable. They look at it as violent; there is no other way to do this thing other than being violent,” she further outlined.
Responding to those who say that ‘Dancehall’ music is being persecuted and the action of the Broadcasting Commission will stifle artistic expression, Mrs. Webster stated that “for too long, as a society, we have been bombarded by such slackness and vulgarity, which we excuse in the name of culture and as a way in which we express ourselves”.
“As a country, we always encourage our people towards artistic expression. We don’t want to stifle that but it should not be negative, indecent and vulgar [because] as Jamaicans, we have much more to offer than that,” she stated, noting that music should be for the upliftment of all.

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