JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has urged parents to take their individual roles and responsibilities more seriously, in order to empower their families and communities.
Speaking yesterday (May 1), in the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, Mrs. Simpson Miller stressed that the empowerment of women, and men fulfilling their responsibilities, could jointly influence families and communities in a positive way.
“Women must be empowered within their families so that they, in turn, can empower their children and other family members. The positive influence of women as mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends inside their families, and in their communities, is a powerful force for development,” the Prime Minister said.
She gave recognition to the fact that half of the nation’s women were low-income single parents who “perform a multitude of roles,” and expressed concern over evidence that many of these women were being abused. “They increasingly face severe physical and mental abuse. Domestic violence, which affects the entire family, is very much in evidence,” she noted.
The Prime Minister called on women who supported their men in criminal and violent activities to desist, and appealed for a greater show of sisterhood among the country’s women.
“I also appeal to the many women who are excelling in various areas, from child-rearing to community leadership, corporate management to mentorship (to) lift up their sisters who call out for support and guidance,” she stated.
Mrs. Simpson Miller lauded the “responsible” men “who are caring and nurturing fathers and supportive spouses and partners,” but pointed to the social implications of those “men and the women who neglect their children and family responsibilities.”
“Too many of the nation’s boys are growing up without the firm but loving support of a father or positive father figure,” she observed, noting that this was clearly linked to the indiscipline so evident among boys.
The Prime Minister reminded “everyone” of the focus of Child Month, which began on May 1 under the theme: ‘Fathers, your children need you’. “Let us honour this theme by pledging to father as well as to mother the nation’s children, beginning with the ones in our immediate family,” she said.

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