“The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.”
Jamaica is facing one of the most crucial time in its history with unprecedented acts of violence against women and girls. Families across the country are grappling with the loss of women and teenage girls who have been brutally murdered.
The fierce urgency of Now has given rise to Women’s March Jamaica Movement, founded by Miss Natalee Stack, Jamaican author and blogger, in response to the assault on women and teenage girls in Jamaica. Violence against women and girls has become a national crisis. The nature of the crimes have become more barbaric and frequent; women in Jamaica are becoming an endangered species.
The rape, stabbing and burning of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis will be remembered as the most gruesome attack on a teenage girl in our history. Shortly after Yetanya’s death, reports of the skeleton remains found soaked in chemical in a bathtub were that of thirteen-year-old Shanoya Wray. How can we forget Charmaine Rattray and her 19-year-old daughter of Spanish Town, both beheaded in 2011? There are too many similar cases to mention, many of which remain unsolved.
Women March Jamaica launch is the official introduction of the Movement to Jamaica to raise social awareness and get the nation involved. We have invited women, men, political and legal consultants with the same concerns to share their idea on how we can collectively push the government to pass a gender-specific Legislation to better protect women and girls in Jamaica. Our host and co-founder Miss Keisha Hayle will open with a presentation of our agenda, followed by a panel discussion where everyone will have a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. We expect to host 25-30 people.
Our goal is to first speak directly to the Jamaica parliament and make our case for why there is an urgency for comprehensive legislative action for women and girls in Jamaica. More women than men are being killed as a result of domestic violence. More teenage girls are being raped and murdered. We are also organizing a mass march for International Women’s Day March 2019.
Women and teenage girls are the primary caregivers to our nation’s children. We have seen the marches, protests, and have made the appeal to the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Now we must turn to the government and appeal for legislative action—the ‘Violence Against Women Act’.