Jamaica News: Jamaicans have been called on to put aside their political and ideological differences and help each other in the interest of nation building.
This call came from the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, while speaking at the National Emancipation and Independence Church Service, held on July 28, at Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre, 104 Waltham Park Road in Kingston.
It was held under the overarching Jamaica 57 Independence Festival theme, ‘One Nation…One People’. In attendance were Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton, representing the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips. They read scriptures from the Old and New Testaments.
“In this year, One Nation, One People reinforces the need for us to hold steadfast to the principle of being our brother’s keeper, setting aside our biological, ideological and political differences, rising together in the interest of nation building,” the Minister said.
She encouraged Jamaicans to commit to being kinder to each other and not just to speak love, but to demonstrate it.
The Minister said that a special effort must be made to prioritise “the safety, comfort and well-being of our women and children, who are often victims of domestic and sexual abuse”.
Citing the Sexual Harassment Bill, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on July 3, Ms. Grange said it is intended “to realign our thinking and attitudes towards sexual harassment”.
She said the legislation will not only protect women from unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, the streets and at home but it will also help to reshape the thinking of some men who still adopt chauvinistic approaches towards women.
Additionally, Miss Grange said the Bill was carefully crafted to cover both genders, adding that men can also be victims of sexual harassment.
“This will be another great step of our journey of independence and will truly set us up as one of the great nations of the world where women and men can operate on a level playing field, recognised for the value of their contributions in a society where respect goes for all,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, guest speaker and presiding Bishop, Emanuel Apostolic Churches, Rev. Dr. C. Everton Thomas, urged Jamaicans to use the Motto, Anthem and Pledge (MAP) as a guide to their success.
“The time has come, my fellow Jamaicans, to really put the Pledge, the Anthem and the Motto into practice and to love one another the way God intended for us to love one another,” he said.
Dr. Thomas also said that young unattached youth, between 18 and 25, are in need of guidance and someone “to look up to and to guide them”.
“We can’t afford to let this generation perish,” he added, and called on the churches, businessmen, politicians, citizens and social organisations to do more in the area of youth mentorship and community transformation.
The ceremony was also attended by members of the diplomatic corps, national, civic and community leaders, and featured a performance by the Performing Arts Ministry of the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre.
Source: JIS News
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