Many believe that Jamaica is a country filled with planners and very little do’ers. Conversely, Jamaicans tend to disagree with that statement.
The (BGA) is the Government’s machinery with the mandate to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment, eliminate of Gender-Based Violence. With such an order, the BGA is seen across the island, creating, implementing and improving projects helping to educate Jamaicans. Nowhere is off-limits for the Bureau. As an Illustration, schools, offices, concerts, resorts, the Bureau has either been there or is going there.
This week Good News Jamaica attended the first meeting of 2020 of the Gender Advisory Council (GAC). Given that, the primary function of the GAC is to guide the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE) and the National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate Gender-Based Violence (NSAP-GBV). With this intention, the GAC divides into subgroups with a laser focus on the following areas; Prevention, Protection, Enforcement of victims’ rights to compensation, reparation and redress, and also Protocols for Coordination of NSAP and Data Management Systems. For this reason, the council comprises of some of Jamaica’s top “doers” and known implementers.
The meeting, attended by the Honourable Minister Grange, took the form of a reporting meeting. Exciting initiatives are now in place to tackle the growing issue of GBV and NSAP-GBV. Consequently, a new programme, the Spotlight Initiative, launched in Jamaica. Through the UN, the programme will spend upwards of US$10,000,000 and focus on eliminating violence against women and girls. With this in mind, the project will directly impact 1,067,200 people and almost three million indirectly. In the same fashion, there are six projected outcomes for the project.
1. “Policies and Legislation” contains four main purposes the first is to support advocacy to incorporate approved policy position to address Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and family violence into local legislations.
2. “Institutions” also contains 4 focuses. The first is to give support to operations, monitor and institutionalise the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPAIRCV) and the National Strategic Action Plan on GBV (NSAP-GBV).
3. “Prevention” as with the previous also has four focus areas. The first is Targeted Community action aimed at promoting positive gender norms, respect for women and girls and conflict skills within families and communities.
4. “Services” has the most focus points, (5), and the first is to harmonise guidelines and tools on integrated quality essential services packages on intimate partner violence, child sexual abuse and other intersecting forms of discrimination.
5. “Data” has four focus points which start with the need to establish minimum standards and protocols for the management of administrative data on violence against women and girls.
6. “Women’s Movement and Civil Society” is the last outcome and it has four focus areas, starting with supporting women’s organizations and CSOs in the field of capacity building in programme design and monitoring and evaluation. With partners such as Un Women, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP), there is no doubt that the impact will spread throughout the island.
To learn more about the Spotlight Initiative visit their official website.
A highlight of the meeting was the Ministers remarks which we captured below.
Many initiatives are happening in Jamaica that we should emphasize. Henceforth, let’s make sure to spread them far and wide.