Jamaica Observer – Wednesday, 05 March 2014 (originally published 03 Mar)
THE battle for women’s empowerment has been fought by many individuals and agencies and among them are the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA), the Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC) and the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), who will all be observing their anniversaries on International Women’s Day, March 8.
The BWA will be celebrating 40 years of service to the community as a Government agency charged with the responsibility of addressing issues confronting women and since recently, men as well. The organisation was started at a time when patriarchy and sexism created issues such as gender-based violence, sexual harassment and high unemployment rates among women. While these issues still exist within the society, the bureau has created a number of programmes geared at minimising these challenges facing women through research and policy development, public education, training, project planning and monitoring.
The BWA has transitioned from a women’s desk in 1974 to a bureau seeking to fulfil its mandate under its vision statement, which is to create, “a society in which women and men have equal access to socially valued goods and are able to contribute to national development” . . .