JIS News

Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has called on Jamaican women to get involved in efforts to save the nation’s youth from the scourge of violence. Dr. Phillips, who was speaking at the International Women’s Day luncheon at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on March 8 said, “an essential element of any recovery is going to depend on the women of Jamaica rising up to recover their families and country from criminal elements that have taken over the minds of the country’s young men”.
The Minister, who was the guest speaker at the function, noted that the society was being retarded by the absence of fathers in the home.
“The development of the child is being adversely affected by the absence of fathers,” he stressed, while also lamenting the poor academic performance of young men.
He saluted Jamaican women for their resourcefulness and strength and called for the launch of a programme to restore the Jamaican father to a position of leadership and responsibility in the Jamaican home.
Turning to unemployment and its effect on women, Dr. Phillips said more young people needed to consider operating their own businesses rather than seeking jobs. “Entrepreneurship will go a far way to creating change,” he stated, citing opportunities for loans for small businesses through the Micro Enterprise Financing Limited.
A joint venture involving the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Scotia Bank and the Kingston Restoration Company (KRC), the Micro Enterprise Financing Limited provides loans for low-income entrepreneurs, who do not have collateral. Since the company was set up in 2002, over 900 persons have received loans to start businesses.
Donna Scott Motley, Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus for National Development, noted the empowerment of women through entrepreneurial opportunities and called for the further creation of community enterprises to motivate and inspire women across the country. “Expand entrepreneurship to include women and girls,” she noted.
International Women’s Day is an annual observance marked by women’s groups all over the world. At the United Nations World Conference on Women’s Rights held in Beijing, China in 1995, governments agreed to “advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity”.

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