Grange: Government committed to addressing issues affecting boys and men

The opening of the Men and Masculinity Workshop on Thursday (September 26) at Courtyard by Marriott hotel in New Kingston.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange (centre) shares a point with Deputy Programme Manager, Gender and Development, CARICOM Secretariat, Ann-Marie Williams (third left); at the opening of the Men and Masculinity Workshop on Thursday (September 26) at Courtyard by Marriott hotel in New Kingston. Others participating in the discussion (from left) are President, Men of God Against Violence and Abuse, Rev Jayson Downer; President, Caribbean Male Action Network, Dr Peter Weller; Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska; Professor Emerita, University of the West Indies (UWI), Barbara Bailey; and Director, Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Robinson. (Photos: JIS)

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says the Government remains committed to addressing issues affecting boys and men in the society as part of measures in promoting equality and eliminating gender-based violence.

“The Government of Jamaica’s medium-term socio-economic policy framework indicates that there are increased concerns for males, who are being labelled by some… as marginalised. The Ministry has put several mechanisms in place to encourage men to become active agents of change and work collaboratively in achieving gender equality,” Grange said.

She was addressing the opening of a two-day Men and Masculinity Workshop at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, September 26.

Grange noted that despite the achievements in reducing the gap between males and females in various social sectors, several inequities continue to plague the Jamaican society.

Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange

She said that among the concerns are the high rates of violence and fatherlessness among males and male underrepresentation in the economic and educational sectors, noting that these require “urgent attention”.

She noted that the Bureau of Gender Affairs, through its Special Service Desk for Men, has been reaching out to males.

The bureau has also collaborated with various stakeholders to host sensitisation initiatives along with skills training, capacity-building and interventions aimed at addressing issues that affect men and boys.

The Men and Masculinity Workshop is being hosted by the ministry in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the European Union and seeks to sensitise and empower leaders of male-based groups.

The staging of the two-day session under the theme ‘Rethinking masculinity, understanding gender equality as a means of ending gender-based violence in Caribbean schools’ is the direct result of recommendations emanating from a Youth, Masculinity and Violence Report, which the CARICOM Secretariat commissioned in 2012.