The Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), which is a division within the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is the national machinery responsible for empowering the men and women of Jamaica. It is mandated to promote the development of human capital and social inclusion to facilitate the empowerment of both genders. This mandate is achieved through the implementation of the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE) and other treaties and agreements geared towards gender optimization. The NPGE is aimed at gender mainstreaming in national development, thereby enabling men and women to contribute equally to the country’s growth, while having equitable access to the protection and privileges of Jamaican citizenship.
Recently, the BGA partnered with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), to facilitate a three-day intensive Gender Focal Points Workshop and Training, with members of the JDF. The aim of this training session and workshop is to highlight the importance of gender perspective in the recruitment, training and operations of the JDF.
Workshop and Training Session
The workshop commenced on August 21 and had 26 military personnel in attendance. The attendees who were selected at random by their commanding officers shared similar excitement and interest. They all were intrigued by this great initiative and were happy to be included in this pilot programme:
While the soldiers were in agreement with gender optimization, they wanted to highlight that the JDF does not practice gender inequality. Both males and females are given the same benefits and opportunities regardless of their genders:
This workshop will assist the JDF and the BGA to formulate possible solutions to address problems and to develop an action plan to mainstream gender within the JDF in line with the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE) and the JDF Optimization Policy. The workshop will end on August 23, 2019.