Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Punitive measures being explored for deadbeat dads

Published:Thursday | November 19, 2020 | 5:02 PM
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange - File photo.

Judana Murphy, Gleaner Writer 

Corrective measures are among strategies to be explored as part of efforts to encourage Jamaican men to honour their responsibilities to their families.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has asserted that there is a major concern in the society about the many fathers who are not supporting their children. 

She said this is especially evident in times like back-to-school when there are numerous requests for assistance. 

Grange was the keynote speaker today at an International Men’s Day forum held in collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Bureau of Gender Affairs, under the theme, “A Man’s Health is a Man’s Wealth: Men and Healthy Lifestyle Practices during the Pandemic.” 

Grange shared that she has asked the bureau, a division of her ministry, to develop strategies to encourage men to be more responsible about the welfare of their children. 

“They will also explore punitive measures for those who fail to support their children even after receiving court orders. We can’t afford to continue to allow the total burden of bringing up children to rest entirely on our women,” she said.

Meanwhile, Grange also used the occasion to appeal to men to take responsibility for their health and that of their dependents. 

In like manner, she celebrated the men who have gone above and beyond in their roles as fathers, mentors, and caregivers. 

“We aim to encourage our men with this theme, to continue the fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to sensitise you on ways to improve your mental and physical health,” she said. 

She urged men to put aside their fears of visiting the doctor and conducting vital assessments such as prostate checks. 

“We as women are appealing to you. Don’t be afraid of the doctor,” she implored, adding that men are crucial to fostering healthy families. 

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