A photographic exhibition depicting the significant role women have continued to play in the development of society was officially opened today (July 29), at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) offices, in Kingston.
Dubbed ‘She is Royal’, the exhibition features an eclectic collection of the achievements of women throughout the years, and is in recognition of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Year of Women 2010. It will last until Thursday, August 5.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Director General of the PIOJ, Professor Gladstone Hutchinson said that in spite of often systematic societal obstacles, women have accomplished a lot, for which they should be proud.
Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) office in Jamaica, Kerry-Ann Parchment (right), in discussion with Deputy Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Pauline Knight (centre) and Executive Director, Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Faith Webster, at the opening of an exhibition on the contribution of women to national development, which opened today (July 29), at the PIOJ, in Kingston.
“Our women have contributed significantly to national development, whether it be in leadership, health and education, stabilising the home, in our classrooms, in the fields, factories and in the boardroom,” he said.
Professor Hutchinson argued that the theme highlights the Jamaican woman who is strong, proud, confident and successful.
“When a woman is royal, strides with confidence, her regal bearing says that she believes in herself and that she has freedom of choice. She has the capabilities and the capacity to make her own decisions and have control over her body and destiny. Not only does she respect herself, but kids, adults, men, respect her as a woman and as a citizen,” he said.
Executive Director, Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Faith Webster, paid tribute to women across all sectors, noting that “through tangible and intangible contribution, they have undeniably helped to pave the way for national development.”
She pointed out that 2010 is a significant year in the gender calendar, as the focus is on “women rights as human rights”, and commended the PIOJ and all the relevant stakeholders for their efforts in “honouring women” and the contributions they have made.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Maria Jones, said that the event is well timed, noting that many Jamaicans will have the opportunity to share in, and reflect on the images and messages depicted.
“Viewers will ponder on the many first and outstanding achievements of Jamaican women. This exhibition is one response and outcome and manifestation of our country’s solemn regard for this commemorative year of women,” she added
Representative of the OAS office in Jamaica, Kerry-Ann Parchment, said the Inter- American Year of Women presents a “golden opportunity” for political parties, cabinets, the justice sector and all stakeholders to redefine the parameters of women’s participation in politics and decision making, while promoting and protecting women’s rights to operate in a world of equality and non discrimination.
Jamaica is a member of the OAS, which is a regional body comprising member states from North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
The Inter-American Commission on Women is a specialized arm of the OAS for generating hemispheric policy to advance human rights and gender equality.