Men at riskTuesday, May 11, 2021
I am penning this on Sunday, May 9: Mother's Day.
Earlier on I leafed through the 60th anniversary keepsake of Community and Workers of Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union Limited (C&WJCCUL). I was struck by the following: Seven of the 11 board members (63.63 per cent) are male; three of the nine-member top management team (33.33 per cent) are male; there is absolutely no male (zero per cent) among the 21 branch managers. This is a company which has had only one female president in its history!
I don't know if the company has been as struck by this as I have. And I am not going to hasten to accuse the company of being biased in favour of females as I believe that C&WJCCUL chose whom they felt were the best candidates.
At the credit union at which my wife and I hold membership, the general manager is female, as are the two branch managers.
The men seem to have simply copped out.
This is no longer the 1970s when we lamented the fact that males represented only 30 per cent of the student body, as I recall. Had seven of the 21 branch managers been male, I would quite likely not be writing this.
Dr Herbert Gayle, social anthropologist and lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at The University of the West Indies, has made an urgent appeal for boys to be kept in school beyond grade 9. The data is that boys are actively targeted by gangs and some have lost their lives for refusing to join. But we have to do more for our boys. Schools have to identify the unattached ones who are not members of clubs or athletics teams and are not doing well academically. I am speaking about those who are consistently scoring in the 20s, 30s and 40s, those who do not turn in work. It should be a national concern.
Boys need to be taught to be men, to be gentlemen, to be fathers, to be responsible citizens. Only recently we heard of a 16-year-old who lost his life in a crash while on his way from an illegal party. We have to start somewhere beyond identifying that there is a problem. This is a national problem. It should not be left up to individual schools to find solutions.
Norman W M Thompson
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