World AIDS Day in Jamaica: lighting a candle after 30 years

As I wait for the virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil to emerge from Zoom-land, I indulge in some memories. If I was to use that well worn cliché, I would call them “bittersweet.” For several years during the 1990s, I attended these vigils on the front lawn of what was then the headquarters of Jamaica AIDS … More World AIDS Day in Jamaica: lighting a candle after 30 years

Celebrating 76 years, the UN focuses on frontline heroes and partnerships

I have been thinking a lot about peace recently, and my thoughts will be in a follow-up post – including the critical role that our young people can and will play. I particularly like the United Nations’ alliterative theme for UN Day this year – all those “P”s! In Jamaica, as almost everywhere else, climate … More Celebrating 76 years, the UN focuses on frontline heroes and partnerships

Jamaican gender activist Linnette Vassell tells older women: “Step out of fear”

I have a mental gathering of “Jamaicans I admire” in my head. They never cease to inspire me. They are young, and older, and in between, and in all walks of life. Linnette Vassell is one. This quiet afternoon – the first in three days of COVID-19 lockdown – I listened to a short interview … More Jamaican gender activist Linnette Vassell tells older women: “Step out of fear”

The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

The discussion about gender-based violence continues in the Jamaican media; in fact, it never really goes away. But very often, those who suffer are not aware that help is available. The Community Paralegal (CP) programme is there to help. It is delivered by the non-governmental organization Stand Up For Jamaica, with grant funding from the … More The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

No more silent cries! Thursday in Black campaign to end gender-based violence and child abuse continues tomorrow

We have to continue speaking out on issues that concern us. A lot of these issues get forgotten about when they are no longer headline news – but it really needs to be a continuous reminder of what’s wrong in our society (whether people want to hear it or not). Advocacy must be consistent, and … More No more silent cries! Thursday in Black campaign to end gender-based violence and child abuse continues tomorrow

Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network – speaking out on children’s rights

As an “older person,” I always believe we should listen to our young people. Whatever they are talking about, whether it’s the environment, LBGT rights, governance issues, and more, it is important to listen to their voices. Not in a patronizing way… Really listen! We can learn so much from each other, across generations. Moreover, … More Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network – speaking out on children’s rights

We naa ease up! On violence against women and children.

There is something we call a “nine day wonder” in Jamaica. It may be a common phenomenon elsewhere, too. A controversial and pressing matter arises (often a manifestation of a frequently recurring issue that has never been properly addressed – such as this one) and there is a furore on social media, with traditional media … More We naa ease up! On violence against women and children.

Women’s voices raised on gender-based violence in Jamaica

The viral video that surfaced earlier this month, and subsequent calls for the alleged perpetrator, a Member of Parliament, to resign, continue to reverberate. Many statements and concerns expressed by various organizations have spoken out strongly on the issue. Here are the voices of some women from a grouping of ten women’s organizations and some … More Women’s voices raised on gender-based violence in Jamaica

“All Jamaica is watching”: Private sector groups join call for assailant in viral video to resign

The two most influential private sector groups in Jamaica have added their voice and supported yesterday’s call from civil society groups for the Member of Parliament to resign. This is their joint statement. The PSOJ had sent out an earlier statement on gender-based violence. Let’s see what happens. April 26, 2021   Private Sector Groups … More “All Jamaica is watching”: Private sector groups join call for assailant in viral video to resign

We must “do more” to combat violence against women, Jamaica’s Gender Advisory Committee urges

I am not done with the domestic violence issue yet – which reared its ugly head with the emergence of a viral video, allegedly showing a parliamentarian hitting a woman with a stool, earlier this month. Mr. Wright has now taken leave from Parliament and his lawyer says that comments in the public domain may … More We must “do more” to combat violence against women, Jamaica’s Gender Advisory Committee urges