The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says International Men’s Day (IMD) is an opportunity for Jamaica to look at implementing policies and measures that will enable men and boys to reach their full potential as participants in Jamaica’s social, cultural and economic development.
She said there is need “to start a real dialogue about men and their gender existence; that is, how it limits them while empowering them”.
The Minister’s remarks came in a message read by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe, at the IMD commemorative church service held on November 18, at the Constant Spring Road Church of God, St. Andrew. The event was organised by the church in collaboration with the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA).
Minister Grange said that Jesus was a good role model and noted important lessons to be learnt from his teachings when he “refused toxic masculinity by saying no to power, resources and authority when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness”.
“An important lesson here is that being a real man is inclusive of the ability to exercise limits and control,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the Minister appealed for more men to join the male network that is operated by the BGA. She said the Bureau will continue to work closely with various male groups, such as the Men of God Against Violence and Abuse (MOGAVA), YARD Empire and the church “in nurturing our men and boys in addressing their challenges”.
Several activities have been planned by the BGA to observe IMD under the theme ‘Reinforcing Positive Male Role Models’.
On Wednesday (November 21) a sensitisation session, titled ‘Fathering Behind Bars’, will be held with fathers at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre. Minister Grange said that the BGA will be partnering with MOGAVA to continue with the training programme at the correctional centre.
There will also be an interactive Male Youth Forum on Thursday, November 22 at the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon under the theme ‘Education still the Recipe for Success’. At this session, male students will discuss the importance of education and academic qualification in today’s job market.
A rap session will be held on Friday, November 23 when the Bureau will collaborate with the Citizens Security and Justice Programme’s (CSJP) Men with a Message and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Rejuvenation programme to engage unattached youth in selected communities.