Woman initiative planned for Father's Day postponed

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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THE Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has decided to postpone the launch of the Jamaican pilot of the Caribbean Woman Caribbean Child initiative (CariWaC) that was originally scheduled for June 16, Father's Day, following the outcry of some fathers who believe their day was being impeded upon.

A representative from the PIOJ said that due to the objections that were being raised by some fathers about the launch of the CariWaC, the authorities have taken the decision to just focus on the Fathers' Day aspect of the programme.

Two men — Rev Jayson Downer and Rev Courtney Morrison — of the Men of God Against Violence and Abuse (MOGAVA) institution in Jamaica, were disgruntled about the original plans of the PIOJ and made a video expressing their disapproval for the CariWac initiative being originally set for Father's Day.

In the video, Downer and Morrison said that they did not see it fit for the launch of a gender-based violence initiative to be launched on the day that is supposed to be dedicated to fathers.

Morrison said he felt badly about how Father's Day is celebrated in Jamaica.

“We are treated less than, so why would we do something else on the day to even devalue the fathers some more?” Morrison asked in the video.

The two men said they are appreciative of women and that they support them on Mother's Day, International Women's Day and on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

“Leave our day alone. Give the amazing fathers an opportunity to be celebrated. June 16 is our day, so do not launch a women's initiative on that day,” Downer said.

In a release Tuesday, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said it has now decided to host nearly 300 fathers and their families on Father's Day under the theme, 'Furthering Healthy Families with Fathers'.

The Jamaica Observer understands that the Father's Day event at the OPM has been crafted, recognising that there are excellent demonstrations of effective fathering among our Jamaican population which are not confined to particular social or economic groups.

A source said that while economic challenges do affect fathering, there are numerous examples of fathers having the determination to overcome these problems and managing to optimise the use of very limited resources in the care of their families.

The invitees to the event include fathers from every parish who are active in their community development committees. This grouping also includes fathers who are living with disabilities, but who are an inspiration within their families.

According to the PIOJ, fathering can take place even when men are physically separated from their families.

It said men who are currently on parole but who have demonstrated their commitment to their families and children have also confirmed their attendance at the event.

“Fathers who represent the historical, cultural place of the Jamaican father as nurturer, protector and provider have been invited through faith-based communities and indigenous communities such as the Maroons and Rastafarians,” said the PIOJ.

The PIOJ, at the same time, has invited Jamaicans to celebrate Father's Day on June 16 by posting pictures of their own commemorations of the day using #FathersDayJA online.

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