JIS News

The Bureau of Women’s Affairs’ (BWA’s) special library was officially renamed, the Lucille Mathurin Mair Gender Documentation Centre, at a ceremony at the Bureau, South Odeon Avenue, Kingston on Friday (December 17).
Named in honour of the late Hon. Dr. Lucille Mathurin Mair, the centre was renamed in keeping with the observance of the Inter-American Year of Women.
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) proclaimed 2010 the ‘Inter-American Year of Women,’ in recognition of the progress made and the challenges to equality between men and women. Dr. Mair was instrumental in the establishment of the Bureau and contributed to women’s and gender affairs in Jamaica.
Speaking at the ceremony, Executive Director of the BWA, Faith Webster, said that it was appropriate to end the observance of Inter-American Year of Women with the dedication. She said Dr. Mair was a pioneer in the field of women and development, and a passionate advocate for gender equality.
“I believe that it is fitting for a special library such as this, furnished with specialised materials on gender, to be named in honour of a woman who contributed so significantly to research and development in women’s issues,” she said.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, said that as Dr. Mair’s work is celebrated, “we are called to play our part in advancing the cause within the framework of a modern Jamaica.”
She noted that Dr. Mair was a woman of substance and great strength, who was relentless in ensuring that the rights of women and girls were protected, and promoted.
“Lucille had a vision for the empowerment of women and girls. She encouraged women to see themselves as agents of change, transformation and development. She worked tirelessly for the betterment of the lives of women,” she said.
Miss Grange pointed out that the Bureau is what it is, because of the enduring vision and activism of Dr. Mair.
She noted that Dr. Mair instigated the establishment of the Women’s Desk in the Office of the Prime Minister in 1974, which was upgraded a year later to a women’s bureau; worked as Regional Co-ordinator of the then Women and Development and Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies; and was elevated to global recognition to serve as Secretary General of the World Conference of the United Nations’ Decade for Women.
“As women, we can be justly proud of the work and worth of this daughter of the Jamaican soil,” she said.
Assistant Representative, United National Population Fund (UNFPA), Melissa McNeil Barrett, commended the Bureau in naming the centre in honour of Dr. Mair whom, she said, has been a pioneer in women’s empowerment and promoting gender equality.
Dr. Mair’s grand niece, Janira Bremner, said she and her family were honoured and grateful that the centre was being named in honour of her grand-aunt.
The women’s affairs advocate was considered an outstanding scholar and world renowned expert on the changing status of women and has written extensively on women and development.
The Lucille Mathurin Mair Gender Documentation Centre is a special library covering a wide range of subject areas specifically geared at gender issues locally, regionally and globally. It is the only known research library in Jamaica that specialises in housing comprehensive information solely in the field of gender.
It contains resource materials in both electronic and print media, and offers opportunity for research rather than information for leisure and pleasure.
The library seeks to acquire research papers, studies, reports and texts that highlight women’s status. Open to the public, clients may make appointments to have access to the specialised resources. Call-in requests can be accommodated under special circumstances. Opening hours are, Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30. Telephone and fax numbers respectively are, 754-8576-8 and 929-0549.