As part of Government’s efforts to eliminate gender-based violence in Jamaica, the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA) has developed a training manual to equip individuals with the required knowledge to adequately tackle the issue.The document, ‘Gender, Youth and Violence’, seeks to train participants in conflict management techniques, and support the development of advocacy skills.Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said the manual also aims to help increase understanding of the principles of gender equality; develop gender-sensitivity among young males and females; build mutually respectful relationships; and foster a gender-safe environment.“As a Government, we are committed to the elimination of gender-based violence and to enhancing a gender-sensitive environment that will contribute to both the lessening of gender-based violence as well as achieve an overall reduction in the incidence of violence perpetrated by our youth,” she said.Ms. Falconer, who was addressing a Next GENDERation Initiative forum on June 5 at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew, noted that the Government’s commitment to this cause is “solidly reflected” through plans to advance the National Policy for Gender Equality and adopt the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence.She noted that the National Strategic Action Plan, which has already been discussed at three national stakeholder consultations, provides a comprehensive multi-sectoral framework for tackling gender-based violence.“It focuses on prevention, response, support, children and vulnerable groups, coordination, monitoring and evaluation,” she informed.Further, as part of this strategic plan, a special committee on violence against women, which was established by the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, last year, has put forward recommendations to address gender-based violence in the country.These include public education, institutional strengthening, shelter services, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods.The Next GENDERation Initiative is a partnership between the Ministries of Youth and Culture and Education; the BWA; the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); and the World Bank.It aims to raise awareness and promote discussion among youth, grassroots organisations and the government on youth violence using a gender perspective.Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards
CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH-EDWARDS The city of Hagen in Germany will be partnering with the municipality of Portmore in St. Catherine, to formulate and implement climate change projects at the local Government level.Making the disclosure during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (June 26), Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said this is being facilitated through the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC).“A situational analysis of the City of Portmore was conducted and from this, several projects have been identified for implementation. These include funding to commence implementation of a complete solar energy system for the HEART Academy of Portmore,” the Minister informed.Mr. Pickersgill noted that funding is already approved, and inspection of the building is to start for the placement of the solar panels.“To complement this, training of engineers in solar energy technology will commence in the third quarter of this year,” he said.The Minister said the plans also include the establishment of a climate change park and the staging of an international reggae climate change festival in the first quarter of 2014.“It is my desire, as Minister, that knowledge developed from this project will be replicated in other cities and towns throughout Jamaica,” he said.