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Jamaica commended for programmes to empower women

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is a patron of He-for-She campaign.

Outgoing United Nations (UN) secretary general's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, Dr Edward Greene, has commended Jamaica for implementing programmes aimed at empowering women.

He cited, among them, the He-for-She campaign, which engages boys and men in enhancing the health and well-being of women and girls.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and sports icon Usain Bolt are active patrons of the campaign.

He-for-She is a sub-programme of the 'Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child' initiative.

This is a spinoff of the UN secretary general's flagship programme, 'Every Woman, Every Child', which was implemented in response to the need for the organisation to undertake more initiatives to increase the health and welfare of women and girls, and also empower women to take control of their sexuality. Dr Greene, who as speaking in an interview with JIS News, said he is pleased that the Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child programme is being championed by the spouses of the prime ministers in the region.

"They are championing the cause and it is good that they are doing it because, in their countries, they have the stature to be good spokespersons. UNAIDS, the UN system and, in particular, the secretary general are in favour of it," he noted.

He said the programme recognises that men are not only to be seen as part of the problem but also as part of the solution and, therefore, must be engaged.

He said it is his hope that the media will take the programme on board, especially given the rising levels of violence against women and girls.

Dr Greene and the other secretary general envoys will demit office with Ban Ki-moon at the end of December. A new secretary general is to take office in January.