23 Feb 2024

Kingston 25 November 2020 (JIS) - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the honourable Olivia Grange, says that officers from the Bureau of Gender Affairs have been dispatched to the community of Tryall Heights, St. Catherine, to provide support, following the recent killing of a grandmother and her two granddaughters.

“As a St. Catherine Member of Parliament, as a Minister, as a mother, as a grandmother, as a woman, as a citizen, I feel the pain of this vile act to my core. There can be no excuse for this wickedness.
“We condemn it in the strongest sense. We commiserate with and send our condolences to the family and we urge the community – anyone with information – please say something and let us have justice for Iciline McFarlane, Christina McFarlane and Mishane McFarlane,” she appealed.

Minister Grange was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 24.

Her condemnation of the killing of the elderly women and the two little girls, comes as the country observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls on Wednesday (November 25) under the theme ‘The Empowered Woman: From Victim to Survivor’.

The day also serves as the start of 16 days of activism to end violence against women and children.

Minister Grange called on all parliamentarians to publicly condemn the incident as well as similar acts of violence against women and girls and stressed the need to speed up the implementation of laws that give greater protection for vulnerable groups.

“As a country, we feel distress and we sometimes despair when we hear of these brutal acts of violence, but we must not retreat and we must not surrender, and we cannot give in to the gunmen,” she said.

“This is when we must fight back; fight back stronger than ever. Fight back to the point where they have to retreat and not us. We cannot surrender Jamaica and we must develop a steel-like determination that we will end the violence,” Minister Grange noted.

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 23 November 2020 (JIS) - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is appealing for Jamaicans “not to turn a blind eye” to acts of violence against women and girls.

She was speaking at a church service to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) held at the Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore, St Catherine, on Sunday (November 22).

Citing findings from the 2016 Women’s Health Survey, the Minister said that one in every four Jamaican women has been physically abused by her partner at some point in her lifetime and one in every three Jamaican women has been a victim of sexual violence.

“These statistics are indeed alarming,” she said.

Minister Grange said that it is possible to have a Jamaica that is free of violence against women and girls and that the church is well positioned “to help us achieve this reality”.

“From our vantage point, churches change culture through education, through advocacy and support and these are critical to address and overcome sexual and gender-based violence,” she noted.

She urged the church to pray for victims of violence as well as for the perpetrators, “so that God can show them the way to stop doing what they are doing… as we fight the scourge of violence”.

She noted that gender-based violence affects everyone in Jamaica regardless of age, education, employment status, union status or areas of residence.

“What this means is that the church, like everywhere else in our society, has members who are survivors, who are bystanders and, sadly, perpetrators,” she pointed out.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate that one in every three women worldwide has experienced either physical and or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

 

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 16 November 2020 (JIS) - A number of activities are being organised in observance of International Men’s Day (IMD) on Thursday, November 19 under the theme ‘A Man’s Health is a Man’s Wealth’.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Denzil Thorpe, said that a forum and presentation of Outstanding Father Award will be held at the The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m,

He was speaking at the IMD Church Service held on Sunday (November 15) at the Constant Spring Road Church of God, St. Andrew.

The event, organised by the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), will include presentations on prostate cancer awareness, mental health and wellness, healthy sexual lifestyle practices, and updates on the Young Fathers Jamaica Initiative and the #mentorme2020 Male Mentorship Programme.

The Outstanding Father Award will honour men who are exemplary in their roles as fathers, mentors and role models.

The IMD event will also include the soft launch of the Exemplary Male Role Models 2021 Calendar. This is an initiative by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in collaboration with the BGA.

At 7:30 p.m. that evening, the State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, will host a rap session via Instagram and Facebook platforms to speak on a range of topics, including men’s health and other psychosocial issues.

Mr. Thorpe said that the objective of the activities is to raise awareness about men’s health and physical well-being and to recognise their contribution as positive role models to the social, cultural and economic development of the Jamaican society.

The IMD celebration will be preceded by the reading of an IMD statement in Parliament on Tuesday (November 17) and the pinning of the symbolic white ribbons on Members of Parliament and Senators.

Mr. Thorpe said the BGA is committed to “supporting our men and boys here in Jamaica as well as those in the diaspora”.

“Through the special service desk for men, the BGA has hosted workshops, seminars and counselling sessions to promote positive images of men and boys, while addressing different aspects of manhood and fatherhood,” he added.
He said the sessions have helped to foster greater parenting skills and provided men with skills to play a more active role in the lives of their children and families.

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, 15 October 2020 – “The place is nice and clean and ready, except for one and two things,” said the Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, on Thursday (today) after she examined the facility that will serve as the first state-run shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

The establishment of national shelters for women who need help to leave violent relationships has been one of the priority programmes of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

The Ministry purchased the property — whose location cannot be revealed for security purposes — in 2018 and has undertaken significant work to transform it into a facility to house women who are victims of gender-based violence and their children.

Minister Grange said:
“We’re fine-tuning some protocols in terms of the operation — just to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. In the meantime, we’re ready; we can take in — I would call them clients — and take care of a family. We actually have most of the rooms ready. There are just two unfurnished rooms.”

The Ministry has also purchased two other properties which it will transform into shelters for victims of abuse.

Minister Grange said the establishment of the shelters could not have been achieved without the assistance of our international partners.

“The former EU Ambassador [Her Excellency Malgorzata Wasilewska] and the Canadian High Commissioner [Her Excellency Laurie Peters] have been very much involved in our efforts to get these shelters. The EU Ambassador has left, but the Canadian High Commissioner [who] will be leaving soon, wanted an opportunity to see where we were in this effort,” said the Minister.

High Commissioner Peters accompanied Minister Grange on Thursday’s tour.

High Commissioner Peters said:
“I am delighted to be here with Minister Grange today at this the first of several nationally funded women’s shelters. We all recognise, Canada in particular, the importance of having safe spaces for women and their families. We have seen that the covid-19 pandemic has put additional pressures on families as they are in isolation and none too soon this is a timely undertaking and I’m heartened to see that it has the space and the capacity to be able to welcome women and their families…”

Minister Grange said she was happy with the development, adding that the facility needed a few items to ensure the comfort of clients.

“So we can do with television sets and bunk beds and desks, toys for the kids and so on. We have studio facilities and we have one bedroom facilities. The rooms are very spacious so we can in fact accommodate a family in an apartment,” said Minister Grange.

The Minister has urged women in abusive situations to call for help.

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23 Feb 2024

Kingston, December 4– The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has implemented an online platform developed in partnership with the UNFPA Caribbean Sub-Regional Office.

According to Minister Grange, the Bureau of Gender Affairs, a division of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will host, manage and maintain the platform which is designed to raise awareness on the issue of gender-based violence.

The platform was launched today at a Public Forum titled ‘Big Ooman and Big Man Chat: Addressing Intimate Partner Violence’ hosted by the Bureau of Gender Affairs at the Courtleigh Auditorium.

Minister Grange said that the online platform will among other things “provide a safe and secure space that allows victims and survivors to share their experiences and find support.”

It will also provide basic information on clinical and health services providers.

Minister Grange thanked the UNFPA for partnering with the Ministry saying, “We could not have done it alone. This is a fantastic tool and we will make use of it.”

The Minister also officially launched the first public education campaign – No Excuse for Abuse – being implemented as part of the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence.

“This is not another campaign to sensitise people about the horrific effects of violence against women. This campaign is about behaviour change and destroying the conditions that enable, condone, ignore and treat violence against women as a normal part of life,” Minister Grange said.

The No Excuse for Abuse Campaign will target both women and men, perpetrators of violence, survivors, and people experiencing violence as well as those witnessing it.


-END-

23 Feb 2024

KINGSTON, November 26, 2018 (JIS):

State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge is appealing for Jamaicans to join the Government in ending violence against women and girls.

He noted that the Administration is working to address the scourge through legislative, policy and programmatic actions that protect victims of violence, punish perpetrators and ensure that the victims get redress.

He urged citizens “not to turn a blind eye” to such acts, noting that reports of “brutal attacks against women over the last year should concern each of us to do something about it…I am extending an invitation to you to join us.”

Mr. Terrelonge was representing Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, at a service, to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), held at the Pentecostal Sanctuary, Upper Waterloo Road, St. Andrew, on Sunday (November 25).

Citing findings from the 2016 Women’s Health Survey, done by United Nations (UN) Women, he said that one in every four women in Jamaica has been either slapped, beaten with fists, pushed, kicked, attacked or threatened with a weapon by her male partner.

He said the survey also revealed that a quarter of women in Jamaica have been sexually abused by men, who are not their intimate partner and that the majority of the abusers were friends or acquaintances. 

“One out of every five women reported being sexually abused before reaching 18 years old and the person who did it was a family member or friend,” he pointed out.

State Minister Terrelonge said it is not the intent of God that “women should be inferior to men and that women should be subjugated to men and that men must be at the right and liberty to punish their women”.

“Men and women must be treated as equals and as partners within the home,” he argued.

Describing perpetrators of violence against women as “cowards,” he said that abuse is not an expression of love.

“Violence against women does not show that you are a man, in fact, it proves that you are not a man,” Mr. Terrelonge added.

In his message, Pastor of the Pentecostal Sanctuary, Bishop Robert Ellis, said that Jamaicans need to get back to “good wholesome family life if the country is going to get back to good wholesome values.”

He noted that the family is “critically important” for social change to take place.

“It is the smallest unit of the society and when that unit of the family becomes disintegrated and disruptive, you’re going to have chaos in the society,” he said, adding that the family influences the lives of individuals and “is the wheel that forms our character.”

The observance of IDEVAW raises public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

 

END

Minister's charge

Let’s go re-ignited towards a great future for Jamaica with renewed faith, courage and dedication.

Olivia Grange

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Jamaica, W.I.

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