JIS News

A group of girls and women aged 14 and older, are being prepared to take on various leadership roles, through training being offered under the FEMPower Leadership Programme.

The programme, which is being undertaken by the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA), in partnership with the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) and the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), has been created to enhance the capacity of girls and women across the island to take on leadership roles in all spheres, particularly in the areas of political and economic leadership.

Some 35 of the 160 females targeted, began their training on Monday, July 15, following an opening ceremony at the Old Hope Road location of MIND, in Kingston.

The United Nations Women funded leadership initiative forms part of the Way Out Project, which was envisioned by BWA and developed in partnership with the DRF to promote the sustainable implementation of Jamaica’s National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE) and to create opportunities for economic and political empowerment of girls and women, while increasing public awareness of the importance of gender equality for national development.

Addressing the girls at the opening, Director, Public Service Capability Development, MIND, Ann-Marie Smith, noted that the persons selected to be a part of the programme are seen as potential leaders, who aspire to leadership positions, and have the capacity and potential to create change and to maintain and sustain that change.

“You are seen as a select group of persons who are going to help to make a difference, not just for young women in this country, but for the country generally. You have the opportunity to increase our advocacy efforts and to increase your leadership efforts as well,” she said, adding that the girls will also get the opportunity to learn and network with not just their colleagues, but with more experienced persons.

Ms. Smith urged the girls to serve as a source of information and inspiration for others who will not get the opportunity to benefit from the programme.

The course for Kingston and St Andrew runs from July 15 to 19 for young women between 14 and 18 years old; and July 22 to 26 for adult women 19 and above. Training sessions are to be held in Mandeville and Ocho Rios as well.

Training will cover areas, such as strategic planning, decision making, communication, dispute resolution, advocacy, problem solving, coaching and gender mainstreaming.

There will be no cost to the participants, who were identified through faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and schools.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards