As the world recognised International Women’s Day on Wednesday (March 8), Fellowship Tabernacle Church joined in celebrating women in Jamaica and across the globe.
The church played host to the International Women’s Day Church Service last Sunday, where its senior pastor, The Reverend Al Miller, joined the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs to pay homage to women and girls across the world.
Miller was strident in calling out the global male population to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls, acknowledging that many are not recognised for their significance and importance to the global community.
According to Miller, “it is the responsibility of men to celebrate the women because we must understand that without them we are limited in our capacity… together we must operate as one… that’s the key thing”. He decried what he termed the misuse and abuse of women while conceding that so many have not been allowed to rise to their God-given talent.
“We thank women for their role in the world and all that they have done,” the clergyman trumpeted as he urged global leaders to deal with the weaknesses in systems “so that we can have proper gender balance, honour and respect of all because men and women were designed equally in the likeness of God”.
Tackling gender-based violence
Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, delivered a message on behalf of Gender Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who was unavoidably absent.
In her message, Grange committed to working for women in Jamaica to have equal opportunities, eliminating gender-based violence and using technology to tackle illicit activities such as cyber stalking.
She acknowledged that International Women’s Day serves to highlight the contributions of “our women and girls as trailblazers and transformational leaders in our families, communities, workplace and across our nation”.
Said Grange: “International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate women, allows for reflection on the myriad of challenges, discrimination and exploitation and the need to focus on equality and progress and provides Jamaica with the opportunity to explore the untapped potential and opportunities of women and girls and recognise the accomplishments towards achieving gender equality.
In concluding, Grange wrote that the day marks the increasing recognition of the struggles of women against all forms of discrimination and exploitation and highlights the need for equality, national liberation, democracy, peace and progress.
For his part, Denzil Thorpe, permanent secretary in the ministry, spoke about the theme for International Women’s Day 2023, ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, which he argued is designed to highlight the role of women in transformative technology and digital education.
He cited current data, which highlights the negative impact of information communication technology (ICT) in facilitating gender-based violence.
Thorpe said the Government is working to ensure that women and girls have equal access to the opportunities being made available as a result of ICT developments.