Major events for International Men's Day

Friday, September 14, 2018

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THE Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) and several men's groups will be hosting events to mark International Men's Day (IMD), which will be observed on November 17.

Plans for IMD activities this year were discussed at a recent men's group meeting, held at the BGA's office, 5-9 South Odeon Avenue, Kingston 10.

Research officer at the BGA, Nashan Miller, told JIS News that the agency will be partnering with several groups to host community-based initiatives, including skills training workshops with emphasis on men.

He said the plan is to involve more men and unattached youth from vulnerable communities.

“This year, we are looking for something bigger to highlight men's contributions and also to celebrate them,” he added

Miller said the BGA is also willing to work with community groups with new initiatives involving men and boys.

“We see it fit to partner with them. If we can't, we will refer them to other agencies,” he said, adding that having multiple partners will assist the bureau in achieving its mandate.

“It is critical that we work with these groups to see what is happening in their area and to see how we can improve the lives of our boys and men. We are at a stage where we find that both boys and men are being left behind,” he said.

Miller explained that the bureau's mandate is to promote gender equality in Jamaica, and that the renaming of the Bureau of Women's Affairs to the Bureau of Gender Affairs on March 8, 2016 by the Government was an indication that “issues concerning men and boys cannot be overlooked”.

The research officer said the National Policy on Gender Equality speaks to having a society where both men and women are equal, where they both work together in tandem to promote a productive society.

“… So, discussions on gender equality cannot be put forward without the contribution of men,” he added.

The meeting, held under the theme 'Promoting Positive Masculinity: The Changing Role of Men in the Jamaican Society', is part of the bureau's effort to forge partnerships with men's groups towards gender mainstreaming and to agree on solutions and strategies to promote positive masculinity.

Representatives from 21 groups, including the Men of God Against Violence & Abuse (MoGAVA), Yard Empire, National Youth Council and the Social Development Commission attended the meeting.

Last year, the BGA, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, partnered with MoGAVA, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other key stakeholders to host IMD activities in the Majesty Gardens community in St Andrew.


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