Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Redefine gender roles for a better Jamaica

Published:Thursday | December 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Taka Thorpe, a single mother of Felicity Road, Montego Bay, and her daughter, four-year-old Omelia Williams, a student of the Albion Basic School in Montego Bay. - file photos
Charles Harvey says the job of single fathers raising their daughters doesn't have to be as difficult as people make it out to be - showing love and understanding to them are some of the important elements of effectively raising girls. Here, he poses with his youngest daughter, Kerry Lee Harvey.
Women participating in making craft items at True United Sisters, a charitable organization that povides assistance for single mothers and their children, located in Linstead, St Catherine.

FIFTY YEARS after Independence, debate continues to rage on effective measures to reduce the number of female-headed households in order to get men to assume responsibility in sharing the raising of their children.

The 2009 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions divulges that the majority of the recipients of the benefits of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education were from rural areas.

Over the next 50 years, multi-sectorial efforts must be concentrated on high levels of rural poverty in order to ensure that women at the base of community are empowered to control their bodies and destinies

The dysfunctional socialisation of boys produces negative ideas about sexual relationships and the definition of their masculinity in relationship to young women.

Crass competition for scarce resources and the urge to establish personal territoriality encroaches into male/female relationships.

The church needs to honestly tackle the social issues resulting in many Jamaican children being raised in fatherless environment and women and girls producing unwanted children.

Church, state and civil society must, in the next 50 years, redefine masculinity and femininity in less phallic modes to help boys and girls to understand their sexuality as an essential component of their physical and spiritual being and not as the sole definition of who they are as human beings.