Jamaica is proud to join the global community in the observance of International Women’s Day on March 8th. The United Nations theme for 2013 – ‘A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women’ is timely and resonates not only with our women but every sector of the Jamaican population.

We cannot ignore the unacceptable and horrible incidents of violence committed against our women and children. With strong commitment and conviction, ending violence against women is a top priority of my Government.

The women of Jamaica are part of the global struggle as for too long women have been victims of violence which impact negatively on their development.

In many instances, senseless acts of violence, including sexual assaults against our women and girls, have rendered many powerless. We must never accept, excuse or tolerate any act of violence against our women and girls.

After 50 years of nationhood and while we celebrate the accomplishments of our women in so many areas, we must do all that is possible so that our women and girls can fully enjoy the benefits of living in a nation where womanhood is celebrated and gender equality is at the forefront of the national agenda.

On this International Women’s Day, it is with renewed commitment that I call on all Jamaicans – political representatives, women and men of influence, mothers and fathers, people of faith, young adults and senior citizens, to be part of the change for a better Jamaica. Let us, as a nation, re-affirm our commitment to eliminating violence against women and girls as well as all other barriers which prevent them from living safe, healthy and productive lives.

The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP

Prime Minister

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