Kingston, 8 March 2021 (JIS) - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says issues affecting women must be tackled in the process of recovering gains lost under the covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the opening of a European Union and United Nations-sponsored forum, titled, ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World’, held virtually, today (March 8), the Minister said the Ministry is ensuring that resources reach the most needy and the most affected, particularly women.
She pointed out that credible data have shown that women have been severely impacted by dislocation caused by the crisis, adding that where the “situation” of women improves, the “overall” economic condition of the society also advances.
“In building back stronger, we must all put greater focus on creating real gender equity. Women and girls are innovative and dynamic leaders, and it is important for them to be empowered to play their part as agents of change in the fight against COVID-19,” the Minister said.
Miss Grange pointed out that the investment in women and girls is futuristic, and her Ministry is at the forefront of ensuring that they achieve increased roles in leadership, political participation, and in strengthening their economic power.
For her part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, said building back stronger and more resilient requires women using their various platforms for exchange of ideas, information sharing, and for advocacy, such as the wearing of masks, and adhering to COVID-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, while bemoaning the many obstacles and violence that women still face across the globe, commended Jamaica for having 26 members in its Parliament (House and Senate), 31 per cent of the membership.
She described this as one of the “highest” in the world, and that “this is excellent and promising”.
The forum was held in observance of International Women’s Day, which is observed annually on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.