Use Advocacy to Bring About Change – Mrs. Holness

Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, is encouraging more Jamaicans to employ the strategy of advocacy in order to influence the decision makers and achieve change in the society.

“We are the current leaders and shapers of our own destiny. We are no longer fighting a slave master or the colonial power, and so we should encourage the principles of advocacy to achieve our ends in a civilised society,” she said.

“I am challenging us to look at the rules that need to be changed, look at the gaps, be they in the standing orders of Parliament or the Offences of the Persons Act… in the dress code policies of government entities or in the rules of educational institutions. Craft solutions that are morally grounded, yet culturally relevant for our people, while continuing to reinforce the fact that rules matter and order is crucial to the survival and the advancement of our nation,” Mrs. Holness noted.

She was speaking at the 25th Anniversary Awards Luncheon of the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus held on Tuesday (December 5) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Mrs. Holness, who is the wife of the Prime Minister, noted that while Jamaicans come from a history of activism, through the use of resistance, riot and revolt to bring about change, advocacy has become a more engaging and effective approach in modern society.

She urged Jamaicans to advocate for the real changes in all spheres of life. “Speak to the ills in society without partisan biases, because, at the end of the day, it will be our society; it will be our children who will be living here – the children we intend to raise, the families we intend to lead,” she pointed out.

Mrs. Holness noted that the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus provides practical opportunities for information sharing and support.

“This caucus has presented an opportunity for those of us with common challenges and common dreams to use this commonality to craft common solutions in the interest of the people of Jamaica,” she said.

In the meantime, she called on more women to enter representational politics and build on the legacy of other women who have served and continue to work in the best interest of the country.

She also coined the acronym TEACH, in encouraging women to transform, elevate, advocate, collaborate and harmonise in effecting change.

One of the objectives of the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus is to raise the number of female parliamentarians to at least 40 per cent of the total members of Parliament, a vision that is reflected in the United Nations and its member agencies.

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