International Women’s Day Message by Hon. Minister

Each year on March 8, countries across the world commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD). The 2016 United Nations (UN) theme for IWD is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.

The local theme, ‘Promoting Partnership towards Gender Equality and Sustainable Development’ highlights the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and hunger as well as gender equality and empowerment for women and girls. It points to the need for continued partnerships across all sectors in Jamaica. In this regard, each person, family, community, group, as well as the various providers of social services have a pivotal role to play.


I wish to highlight the work of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA), as the National Machinery on Women and Gender. Through its gender mainstreaming programme, the BWA continues to sensitize and train multiple stakeholders to mainstream gender in all national policies, plans, programmes and projects. This is designed to enable women and men to benefit equally from the country’s resources.

To date, twenty-seven (27) Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government have received the Gender Equality Certification Stamp. This signals their commitment to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in keeping with the guiding principles of the National Policy for Gender Equality.

The BWA has increased the focus on community based-outreach to provide strategies to treat with some of the many issues which women face. This is achieved through community activities, public education, training, sensitization and first level interventions. We also maintain partnership with other government and nongovernmental organizations to highlight and empower Jamaican women.

Community Outreach Work continues to be done in communities towards the achievement of gender equality. Women’s groups receive technical support from the Government of Jamaica to help to maximize the resources available and to access information to develop expertise in specific areas.