Our women and children can't remain sitting ducksMonday, April 12, 2021
It's often said that how a society treats its most vulnerable (women, children, and the elderly) is always the measure of its humanity. By any objective standard, Jamaica is receiving a failing grade.
The gruesome crimes committed against our women and children daily, reported and unreported, should alarm all well-thinking Jamaicans.
The lax enforcement of regulation to govern 'robot' taxis, dark tinted vehicles, and underinvestment in public transportation contributes to the spate of abductions and near-abductions in recent times. It's a numbers game, a deadly Russian roulette for the thousands of women and children who rely on public passenger vehicles (PPVs) to go about their daily lives. Sadly, many will never make it home.
In Tokyo, Japan's metropolitan area, the trains have a dedicated car for female passengers and children during rush hours in response to rampant assaults and groping. Similar schemes are active in Brazil, Mexico, India, to name a few. In comparison, while it might not be practical for Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) or private PPVs to implement similar programmes, there is a business opportunity for entrepreneurs to recruit female drivers for on-demand taxi and PPV service. “Pink Cabbie” is already active and growing in this space. More investment is needed.
Every sector of society has a role to play. The Transport Authority and the numerous taxi associations islandwide, in partnership with banks and building societies, could provide preferential financing and priority registration to increase female participation in the sector. That might be a start.
There are no guarantees in any policy or prescriptive solutions, and certainly no panaceas. Still, the statistics prove gender-based violence is perpetuated in overwhelming proportions by men against women, so solutions that reduce the probability might bear fruit.
We need to get creative to save our children and women. Evil never rests, so neither can we.
Citizens Alliance for Good Governance
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