Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Letter of the Day | Stereotyping women in the workforce

Published:Thursday | September 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM


This letter is a response to the Growth & Jobs article published on the Gleaner's website titled 'Wanted: More women in construction' on September 19.

It is high time that women in the Jamaican society be involved in the work that only men are 'allowed' to do. Whoever came up with the rule that women cannot handle the jobs that men can do? Don't we have female bus drivers, conductors, farmers, engineers and architects, too, among other jobs nowadays?

It is so typical of our Jamaican society for us to belittle women by pushing them aside like they are little fragile souvenirs that we stash away in corners only to gather dust.

Congratulations should be in order to Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, who has listened to the cry of women in Jamaica for more opportunities for available jobs.

I have to wonder, as a woman myself, if we will continue to endure the stereotyping by our counterparts. No one said that it is only John or Paul that has the ability to operate this or that machine. Moreover, it is not written in stone that we, as women, cannot manage certain jobs or take on certain roles.




Let me draw your attention to that Tanzanian woman who made her earnings by pretending to be a man. This 31-year-old woman disguised herself as a man so she could be able to work in a mine. Do we understand the level of stereotyping that our women have to go through because they are prohibited from performing certain duties?

Quite a number of outsiders see women as stiletto, tight-skirt wearing, emotional wrecks and wouldn't know how to wear steel-toe boots and overalls. They regard us only as being able to bear children, do housework and handle files. However, we are rarely given opportunities like these to show what we can really do. We are skilful (Jeremiah 9:17), and durable. We are grateful to Minister Grange for hearing our cry.


Student of Shortwood Teachers' College