• JIS News

    As we once again observe International Women’s Day, we express our pride in the women of Jamaica and salute them for the vital role they play in our society.
    The women of Jamaica have been called upon to bear an unfair share of the burden in cradling our society, raising our children and providing for our families. They have borne that burden with remarkable strength and resilience and we owe them a mighty debt of gratitude.
    But they deserve more than just our thanks. They deserve our respect and protection and our men folk must step forward and shoulder more of the responsibilities in our homes and communities. For God never intended that women should do it alone.
    The crisis we face in the behaviour of our young men who dominate the incidence of crime and violence, and the disproportionate under-performance of the boys in our schools, point to the absence of male parenting and mentoring in our homes. Our women cannot do it alone. They cannot be left to do it alone.
    Our women continue to excel in many areas of national life. In the last few days, women have been appointed to assume the pivotal positions of Director of Public Prosecutions and Auditor-General and I wish to congratulate Miss Paula Llewellyn and Mrs. Pamela Munroe-Ellis. They achieved their appointments not because they are women, but because of their proven competence and we salute them.
    Today, as we observe International Women’s Day, we must do more than just observe. We must resolve…resolve to lift the regard we show to our women. Violence against another is wrong. Violence against women is reprehensible and there are too many instances in which women are the targets and victims of violence and ill-treatment. There are still pockets of discrimination against women that we must resolve to eradicate. There are imbalances such as employment opportunities which we must resolve to redress.
    The government is determined to intensify its efforts to strengthen, support and protect the place of women in our society. We have ratified several international conventions and protocols aimed at actualizing gender equality. We are implementing a multi-sectored National Gender Policy to remove the outstanding disparities in the treatment of our women.
    So, today, let’s say something nice to our women. Let’s do something good for them. But, more than that, let us commit ourselves to support and protect them. They are ours as much as we are theirs and they deserve no less.

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