'Reinforcing positive male role models'

Monday, November 19, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Today, November 19, 2018, we celebrate International Men's Day and put a special focus on our men.

International Men's Day is an opportunity to reflect on the state of the Jamaican man — his health and well-being, his challenges and successes.

We can be proud of the positive value that the vast majority of Jamaican men bring to their families, communities and to our country each day. As the minister for gender affairs, I commend our men, young and old, who continue to give of themselves in the building of our nation — they are the role models who we are happy to celebrate today and every day.

Sometimes men's issues do not get the requisite focus on the gender agenda, but we are working to change that. The Men's Desk, which we established a few years ago in the former Bureau of Women's Affairs, has been expanded to the Men's Department at the repurposed Bureau of Gender Affairs. The bureau is now a central point for information and advocacy on men's issues, including parenting, health, education, and the unique role that men must play alongside women in creating a harmonious society with gender equality.

Through the bureau we have been conducting parenting seminars that target men in an effort to change entrenched behaviour that militates against good parenting. We are committed to giving our men the requisite support to perform their role as fathers. In this regard, I'm happy to announce that we will launch the Positive Father Project, with the support of UNESCO, as one of our main activities for International Men's Day.

Men must not only be seen as providers or disciplinarians in the family, they also have a critical role as nurturers. We want to boost the participation of fathers in the household, particularly in the nurturing of their children, and that is why we are also championing the paternity leave policy through the Bureau of Gender Affairs. I invite men and women to participate in consultations today and during the next few months towards the development of the policy.

Today, I urge us all to highlight, in a special way, the positive male role models in our lives and wish them a Happy International Men's Day.

Olivia Grange


Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

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