Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Kiwanians encourage adolescent mothers to challenge stereotypes

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Joining in move to #PressforProgress are (from left) President of Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals Kingston, Jamaica, Kharie Blackwood; civil engineer at Westech Ltd. Abigail Henry; Lieutenant Governor, Kiwanis Division 23 East, Sharon Williams; and President of the Kiwanis Club of South St Andrew Judith Montague. The occasion was a panel discussion organised by the club for adolescent mothers of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica in recognition of International Women’s Day.

At a recent panel discussion organised by the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals Kingston, Jamaica, for adolescent mothers at the Women's Centre Foundation of Jamaica, Abigail Henry, resident civil engineer at Westech Limited, charged adolescent mothers to press for progress in challenging stereotypes and bias.

She said that as a female engineer operating in male-dominated field, she remained motivated to prove her worth among her counterparts and to rise above the stereotypical views of society. Henry credits hard work, dedication, and a good mentor as some of the keys to her success, encouraging the young ladies to recognise that they, too, can use similar tools to overcome their trials.

Henry underscored the need to build on the solid foundation that has been set by previous women who have overcome similar challenges, including adolescent pregnancies or career setbacks as they pressed for progress.

Camille Facey, attorney-at-law and partner at L. Howard Facey & Co, implored the participants to think about their future and their career goals. She charged the young ladies to set goals for their lives and work hard towards these goals, adding that they should treat every opportunity as a learning moment, irrespective of how mundane a task may be.

In her address, Dr Zoe Simpson, executive director of Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation, commended the Kiwanis Club of Young Professionals, Kingston, Jamaica, for continued involvement with the centre.

"Your members serve as ideal role models for the adolescent mothers of who they too can become in society. You are not defined by motherhood, but by your potential," Simpson said.

The event was held in recognition of International Women's Day, themed this year #PressforProgress. The occasion was designed to empower and encourage the adolescent mothers to pursue their goals and overcome obstacles in their press for progress.