IT'S not the sort of advice you would expect to hear this holiday season, but chair of the National Family Planning Board, Dr Sandra Knight, did not mince words when she implored women to become more independent instead of depending on men for things.
"Stop pressuring the men for money. They work hard, but they didn't work hard for you, go work hard for your own money, go pay your own bills," was her stern warning to women who make a habit of dating men just for financial gains and other material possessions.
Knight, who recently expressed concern that some Jamaican men have been coming under extreme pressure in recent times for money and sex, said some of these men are just viewed as purses. This, she said, doesn't augur well for the promotion of healthy family life in the society.
"They must provide for their wives and the women they are going to spend the rest of their lives with, and the women who are committed to them and are going to be by their sides when they are sick, when they are old," she said.
"A lot of men put themselves under a lot of pressure because they are being pressured by a lot of these women," she asserted.
To make the situation worse, Dr Knight said the money is often used to purchase material things rather than things that would result in personal upliftment, such as going back to school. And with the holidays now in full swing, it is expected that these men will have to fork out a bit more cash than usual.
"Most of the money is going to go towards clothes and partying," she said. "So they are blinging out and blinging out for what?"
At least one businessman who spoke to All Woman said he is already feeling the crunch, as in the past few months, a number of women have been approaching him to exchange sex for money.
"They seem very eager to get with a man. They don't even wait to find out what you are all about," he said.
"Women asking for phone credit and money. Right away they tell you that if they can get that, then we can get sex and anything else we desire," he
He said he is deeply concerned about this since this would no doubt increase a woman's risk of STIs. He noted, too, that several of his male friends were coming under the same type of pressure and are just as concerned.
Dr Knight said women need to focus their energy on empowering themselves and setting good examples for their children instead of trying to scheme men out of their money.
"Concentrate on yourself, concentrate on maximising your own potential as a woman, as a mother, as a wife," she said.
"We need to pause, we cannot have financial gains for sex, that's prostitution," she reasoned.
Meanwhile, she encouraged men who do not support their wives and children to do so.
"If his family is not doing as good as they can and he can contribute, then that's wrong," she said.