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More Influential Women Urged To Mentor Children
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, is urging more influential Jamaican women to become mentors for the country’s children and adolescents. She said this will assist in steering them away from illicit activities, strengthen their values and attitudes, and encourage them to become productive members of society from the earliest age possible. Mrs. Holness noted that of the approximately 2.5 million people in Jamaica, 530,000 fall between the ages of 15 and 24 and are considered among the most vulnerable in the society. “We must do more to intervene, we must do more to help guide and strengthen their capability and their capacity… . As empowered women, we must remember that every life that is enhanced, helps to improve the quality of our lives,” she said. Mrs. Holness, who is the wife of the Prime Minister, was speaking at the International Women, Jamaica luncheon at 1 Skyline Drive, Jacks Hill in St. Andrew, on Thursday (April 6).
She urged the participants to exhibit the qualities of strong female leadership.
“You have the ability to dedicate your time and energy to a cause; let’s do it for our children…we must care, we must impact people to do good, we must succeed and show the next generation, and young women, in particular, that it can be done,” she said.
In the meantime, she urged Jamaicans to play a greater role in reporting incidents of abuse against women and children.
“As a society, we must stop the normalisation of violence. As women, we have a role and a responsibility as individuals to report all forms of abuse. The scars of physical and sexual abuse are horrific and impact the lives of… our women and children long after the abuse has ended. It is a scar on our society that impacts our progress,” she lamented.
Mrs. Holness said that the recent announcement by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, regarding legislation that will be taken to Parliament to formally abolish corporal punishment is a “major step”.
“The State is moving to ensure that our children are not abused by State agencies,” she noted.
International Women, Jamaica, launched in October 2016, comprises a diverse group of women, many of whom are new to Jamaica or have returned to the island after living overseas for many years.
Founder, Sheryn Hylton Parker said the group is seeking to be a catalyst for the women to be integrated or reintegrated into the Jamaican culture.
“(One) of the key objectives of International Women, Jamaica is to broaden our horizons by cultivating friendships that bring Jamaican women together with newcomers, whether here on assignments or long-term,” she said.
Some of the attendees at the luncheon included wives of diplomats, members of the private sector and business interests.