JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that it is important to understand that gender equality and human rights for all, are essential for the advancement of development, peace and security.
Speaking Sunday(March 8), at a special commemorative church service, highlighting International Women’s Day, at the Eastwood Park New Testament Church, 48 Eastwood Park Road, in Kingston, the Minister pointed out that many decades of lobbying and advocacy by women’s organisations across the world, have resulted in the global recognition of the contribution that women make to social and economic development, adding that “the success of their efforts is evident in some of the Conventions and Protocols that the Government has signed over the past 20 years.” These include: an international framework for the pursuit of gender equality provided by the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “By signing these documents, the Government has a responsibility to promote gender equality, to empower women and eliminate gender-based violence,” Miss Grange emphasised. At the service, which also recognised the 35th anniversary of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Minister lauded the “courage of our women worldwide, but most importantly our Jamaican women, who have played transformative roles in our society.” Miss Grange noted that this year’s theme -: ‘Honouring the Past, Celebrating Women: Embracing Gender Equality’ – highlights the work that has been done and the many hurdles that have been cleared. “As a nation, we can now celebrate our women and their efforts, which enable us to look forward to a future where persons will not be discriminated against, on the basis of gender,” she added. The Minister said that women and children continue to be undervalued and this must change. “Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us not only reflect on change, but seek to change and seek to reverse the many negative influences and situations that so often hinder the process and development of our women and girls,” she said. Miss Grange lauded the Bureau of Women’s Affairs for its 35 years of sterling contribution to the cause of women, and development of the nation. She commended all the past Directors and staff who have played a significant role in the development of the institution, and towards enhancing the status of women in the country. During the ceremony, the Minister and members of the congregation recognised the contributions of Lady Bustamante, widow of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, as she celebrates her 97th birthday today. International Women’s Day focuses on raising awareness on the issues relating to women and girls across the globe. It also aims to honour the achievements of women and promote women’s rights, recognising the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in the local, regional and international arenas.

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