Female entertainers lift 'Voices For Change'
Jamaica has long grappled with the issue of violence against women and children, but this issue has seemingly taken a turn for the worse, with increased incidents of violent acts against women and children since the late last year. This has resulted in increased public attention and indeed much fear, as women feel increasingly endangered. Just a glance on any social-media platform, will reveal cases of women expressing concern and fear for both themselves and their children. These cries are also echoed daily in the mainstream media.
However, those cries have not gone unheard, and today, as the world observes International Women's Day, female entertainers are voicing their concerns, as they condemn crime and violence towards women and children and offer words of encouragement to their fellow sisters.
"You are beautiful and you are worthy. Let nothing from your past, whether emotional or physical abuse, ever let you stop from believing this. You have the will and the power to make a change."
Approximately four years ago, Tifa participated in HELP Jamaica, a campaign against violence against children, for which she wrote, God Soon Come.
"There were people crying when I first performed it. It was a song meant for people overall, not just for women. It was dedicated to both males and females who have suffered from molestation."
"It's always such depressing news when I read or hear about these acts of violence against women and children. I don't think they understand that without us, the balance will be off. I encourage these women to seek help, talk to people about it, take action, stand up for what you believe in. I am sure such actions Will help others."
Keiva di Diva:
"I don't understand what is going on, but from reading the paper and listening to the radio, some of these killings are from cheating. I don't understand why people can't just move on. Men and women should just move on. The only thing I can say is that it (violence against women) really hurts. I'm sad and heartbroken and it's just painful to watch sometimes. Most of these women are mothers and their kids need them. The hardest thing is for those children to grow up without their mother. It doesn't make sense killing off the mothers. Who's gonna take care of the children when one parent is dead and the other is in prison?"
"I am really against it because at the end of the day, I wouldn't want to see my sister or any other female close to me being beaten and abused. We have to stand together as women, stay strong and fight this issue right now. Women sometimes go through a lot of things in their relationships and they are scared to tell people, but I'm saying to them: Find someone that you trust and just talk about it.
"Some women stay because they cannot maintain themselves, but these are some of the things we need to stop doing. Just being in a man's surroundings and having him take care of you without having your independence is what gives some of these men the authority and strength to feel like they can treat you anyhow. So I'm encouraging women to find ways of being independent.
"I have a song called Hooligan, with a Canadian artiste called Diverse, and it speaks about this issue. I am with the women and I'm here to use my voice to speak out against this issue and campaign against these wicked men. We have to pull together as women and look out for each other."
"I have a campaign going on right now called 'We Can Survive' and it's basically a project started out of this issue of violence against women. I want women to know that they are strong and that they can overcome anything. I have been an advocate for women since I did my song Stronger. That song was a true story. I was talking about things that happened in my life and how I got over them and how they made me stronger.
"I know that song inspired a lot of women to get out of relationships and situations that weren't working out, and so I know just how much music can help people in situations like these. That is why I decided to start this campaign and re-release the song. Even though I wrote it three years ago, I felt like now was the most appropriate time with what's happening and I hope it can encourage women in certain situations to get help and get out."