Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment
and Sport, Denzil Thorpe (left), greets Director for the Institute of Gender
and Development Studies, Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, at the International
Men’s Day forum, November 19 at the University of the West Indies (UWI)
Regional Headquarters in St Andrew. International Men’s Day is celebrated
annually on November 19.
The issue of Paternity Leave was at the centre of discussion at a forum for the observation of the International Men’s Day forum on Monday, November 19 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Andrew.
The Government is facilitating discussions on the introduction of a Paternity Leave Act, to encourage shared parenting, support and mentoring.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, Denzil Thorpe, said the Act is in line with the recommendations of the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE).
Paternity leave is defined as a job-protected period of leave for employed men, with income support provided in some cases. Paternity leave is a short period of leave for the father to take immediately following childbirth to help care for the child and assist the mother.
“In response to the discussions regarding the passing of a Paternity Leave Act or a Parental Leave Act to accommodate paternity leave, there will be consultations on the relevance of paternity leave to the Jamaican society and the parameters of the Paternity Leave Act,” he said.
“This is of major significance as the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport seeks to introduce paternity leave as a benefit to men as fathers as part and parcel of the Jamaican workforce. It is well established that for gender to be truly transformative, it has to be inclusive,” Mr. Thorpe said.
The NPGE outlines Jamaica’s commitment towards gender equality and to providing an enabling environment for achieving the goals of fairness and socio-economic justice for women and men.
Meanwhile, Director for the Institute of Gender and Development Studies, Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, endorsed the Paternity Leave Act.
“It is an amazing thing to see how it grows a man to grow his child and to be involved in every aspect of his child’s development. Paternity leave is extremely important, because we want to shift the paradigm that says it is the mother’s job. It is both parents’ job,” she said.
Participant at the event, Davian Williams, said the celebration of men is important, as positive male influence is important in the society.
International Men’s Day is celebrated globally on November 19. This year, it is being observed under the international theme ‘Positive Male Role Models’.
By: Franklin McKnight