KINGSTON, Jamaica – A call has been made by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange for more men to be active in coaching and mentoring boys to become “men of purpose on a mission”.
The minister made the call in a speech delivered on her behalf by the principal director in the ministry, Sharon Coburn Robinson, at a church service held at the Swallowfield Chapel in St Andrew on Sunday to observe International Men’s Day (IMD).
Grange also lauded male groups for providing “steady and ongoing support” towards national development.
The observance was held under the theme ‘Men and Mental Health: Men-Tally Aware, Men-Tally Prepared’.
The minister noted that through outreach activities, several groups and individuals have been working to empower and inspire men and boys to become positive male role models.
She added that the IMD presented an “excellent platform” for men to coach and mentor boys, and “I encourage our men, therefore, to lead by example to create a better society”.
“I use this opportunity to reiterate my unrivalled commitment to working tirelessly with our local, regional and international partners to implement national policies, plans, programmes and projects to address the plethora of issues which are part and parcel of the lived experience of our men and boys,” the minister said.
Grange said the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) recognises the need to establish and maintain “harmonious gender relations as non-negotiable planks” towards the achievement of gender equity and social justice.
She noted that the IMD is celebrated annually as a “signal of our commitment to an inclusive approach” towards achieving sustainable development.
“This inclusive approach is also highlighted through the Male Empowerment Unit, which was recently established within the BGA. It provides a confidential and non-discriminatory space where men and boys can discuss the myriad of challenges they face and strategies to create practical and cutting-edge solutions for sustainable development,” the minister said.