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JAMAICA: Special Service Desk Helping Men to Be Their Best



#Jamaica, March 1, 2018 – Kingston – The Special Service Desk for Men, located at the offices of the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), has been helping men to be productive members of society.  It was established in April 2016 to assist men and boys in alleviating some of the major socio-economic challenges such as the crime and violence they experience.

The Desk serves as a central point in providing awareness on a range of issues, for example, parenting, health, education and the role of men in the elimination of violence against women, among others.   In addition, it focuses on policy, research and gender-sensitive training, developing leadership and promoting responsible male behaviours and attitudes.  Partnerships are also forged with men’s groups and other key stakeholders to raise awareness on specific issues faced by men and boys.

Speaking with JIS News, Research Officer at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, and Focal Point person for the Special Service Desk for Men, Nashan Miller, says that men are often seen as the perpetrators of violence.

“While there are statistics to confirm this viewpoint, there are a significant number of men and boys who are also victims, which tends to be greatly overlooked. Men and boys are also affected by gender-based violence, which not only includes physical abuse but emotional and psychological abuse, which is just as damaging,” Mr. Miller explains.

He notes that some of the views about antisocial behaviour and overt aggression in men and boys are linked to a culture of male-bashing and negative stereotyping.  He says that studies show that some males who demonstrate antisocial behaviour are the products of parental neglect, especially where fathers were absent.

“We want to break this cycle by reinforcing the positive and unleashing hope,” he points out.

Mr. Miller also shared that during a male group meeting, with influential men’s groups and individuals, it was pointed out that there are too many negative images depicting men as abusers and perpetrators of violence.  He says as a result, there was a call for more positive images depicting men as not just ‘ATM machines’ or ‘security’, but images of men having a positive effect on family and the wider society.

He cited the partnership with Men of God Against Violence and Abuse (MoGAVA), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), and the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), where a new miniseries titled ‘Amazing Dads’ was produced to promote positive stories about fathers in Jamaica and mobilise men to be productive members of society, as an example of this.

He says the issue of paternity leave is another policy initiative that the BGA will spearhead to aid fathers to bond with their offspring at an early stage.

“I believe this would promote the image of men as not just providers but also caregivers,” Mr. Miller argues.

Meanwhile, some of the main achievements of the Special Service Desk for Men include observing International Men’s Day and Father’s Day, hosting of school sensitisation sessions, and community activities on domestic violence and other gender-related issues.

“We have gone into communities and several organisations to mainstream gender, particularly on issues related to both positive and negative masculinities, and we want to continue this momentum, as it will generate much-needed conversations and actions surrounding our men and boys,” Mr. Miller says.

He highlights that several organisations have been incorporating Men’s Day in their annual list of activities.

“While we have seen an increase in the number of programmes geared towards men, I think there’s still a significant amount of room for improvement.  There needs to be a place where men are free to express their emotions without the fear of being labelled as ‘soft’ or where talking about their actions and negative behaviours is not seen as merely ‘finding excuses’, but viewed through the lens of critical emotional and psychology development of our men and boys,” Mr. Miller states.

Relaying an experience of a client, the Research Officer says that the young man expressed how pleased and relieved he was to be talking to a man about a male concern.  However, the Research Officer stressed that the Special Desk for Men cannot do it alone.

“It will need sustained partnerships and collaboration with different interest groups and stakeholders to assist men in addressing several of their concerns.  This is why we also make referrals and form partnerships with men’s groups, such as Fathers Inc., founded by Dr. Herbert Gayle,” Mr. Miller points out.

“Social change does not take place overnight, but the indications are that we are moving in the right direction. We are committed to taking the work across the length and breadth of Jamaica,” he adds.

The Special Services Desk for Men can be reached via email or by calling (876) 754-8576-8. Persons may also visit the offices at 5-9 South Odeon Avenue, opposite the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre.

By: Linton Heslop (JIS)

Photo credit: bbbs




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Caribbean News

Officers for Haiti multinational force more than 2000, close to 5000 mark




Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#Haiti, December 11, 2023 – The number of officers for the multinational force to be deployed in Haiti is over 2500, not too far from the 5000 requirement as declared by Kenya.


Ulrika Richardson, the United Nations resident Coordinator in Haiti, made the revelation recently, expressing hope that the deployment will be made before April, in the first quarter of 2024.


While the worsening humanitarian crisis in Haiti continues to evoke concern globally, Kenya has been barred from deploying officers due to an ongoing court conflict regarding the constitutionality of the promise to lead the multinational force.


In fact, in November, following earlier decisions in October to block the deployment of officers, Judge Enoch Mwita, reports say, informed that the orders preventing the deployment will remain in place until he gives a ruling on January 26th.


However, despite this hindrance in Kenya, according to Richardson, authorities continued preparations for the upcoming mission.


This comes as gang violence recently spread across Haiti into areas initially considered safe, as revealed in a new UN report, an indication of the need for swift decisions and actions to help the republic.


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Bahamas News

Mottley’s speak on Antimicrobial resistance importance.



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


December 11, 2023 – Antimicrobial resistance is an important development globally for the near future, and Mia Mottley highlighted the seriousness of this amid climate change effects.


Mottley highlights this, acknowledging the new development of health being at the center of climate efforts.


She points out that focusing on health gives the world a chance to be steps ahead of what can happen due to the changing climatic conditions, and she specifically refers to “new pathogens.”


“There’s a strong possibility of new pathogens that will develop, and we expect that we need to be able to ensure that we are in a position to treat people when and if these new pathogens become a reality across our globe,” she said.


She continued to speak of her support for the Health Global Initiative, which focuses on antimicrobial resistance, a necessity, as she points out, adding that it’s the third largest killer in the world, hence the importance of resistance.


Mottley further underscores the grave nature of antimicrobial resistance, expressing the prediction that it is the largest reason for deaths by 2050, reversing a century of medical progress, she says.


In fact, the level of seriousness runs so deep that Mottley says acts such as going to the dentist and having a baby will be high-risk if stronger efforts aren’t made regarding resistance.


Expressing that more needs to be done for antimicrobial resistance, Mottley referred to the number of firms doing research in the year 2000, compared to now.


“In the year 2000, the world had 20 firms doing research on antimicrobial resistance and looking for new antibiotics; today there are four firms.”


Next year, in 2024, there will be a General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance, and Mottley maintained that it might hopefully reignite and reposition in people’s minds the need for more financing for antimicrobial resistance. She emphasized this by highlighting that this COVID-19 pandemic was a lesson, showing the world what happens when it’s not prepared for new pathogens.


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Caribbean News

Caribbean mourns death of literary Giant



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


December 11, 2023 – Edward Alston Cecil Baugh, a Caribbean literary giant, sadly passed away on Sunday, December 10th, 2023, leaving behind a rich legacy in the literary world.


Baugh, born on January 10th, 1936, in Port Antonio, Jamaica, which made him 87 years old, lived a successful life not only as a renowned Jamaican poet and scholar but also as a professor at the University of the West Indies (UWI), teaching at the Cave Hill campus first, then at the Mona campus.


He is regionally recognized for his work on pieces by Derek Walcott, who was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. Baugh edited Walcott’s Selected Poems (2007).


Additionally, his other notable works include West Indian Poetry 1900–1970: A Study in Cultural Decolonization (1971) and Derek Walcott: Memory as Vision (1978).


Commenting on his passing, Professor Emeritus Dr. Norval Edwards described Baugh as an “intellectual giant,” reports say, adding that his passing is an “immense loss” for the wider Caribbean.


“Jamaica and the wider Caribbean have lost an intellectual giant, an erudite and brilliant scholar, an exemplary teacher, and anyone who has been taught by him would have been touched and inspired by his brilliance. He transmitted a love for the subject,” Norval said.


The Honourable Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, briefly gave remarks regarding Baugh’s passing on Facebook.


Holness spoke of the poet’s exceptional work in literature.


“Professor Edward Baugh’s impact on Jamaican literature and insightful contributions to postcolonial Caribbean poetry have left an enduring mark on our cultural heritage. As a nation, we were blessed and privileged to have witnessed the immense talent of Prof Baugh. I express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of our revered poet, orator, biographer, and prominent scholar in postcolonial Caribbean poetry,” said Holness.


“May the enduring legacy of his literary contributions and profound insights offer solace during these challenging times, and may his soul find eternal peace,” Holness added.

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