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'Empowering rural women must be priority'

MESSAGE: Empowering Rural Women Must Be Priority

JAMAICA'S PRIME Minister says empowerment of rural women and hunger eradication must become a priority for the country.

In her message for International Women’s day, Portia Simpson Miller said Jamaica can take pride in the overall progress made in ensuring women’s rights.

However, she said women still struggle against barriers which keep them poor and marginalised.

She said many of these women live in rural communities across Jamaica.

She said Jamaica joins the global community in supporting the United Nations theme for this year’s observance which is Empower Rural Women: End Hunger and Poverty.

Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, said as the country celebrates 50 years of independence, there needs to be continued support for the economic and political empowerment of Jamaican women, so that the gains made by them over the years are not eroded.

He wants special temporary measures such as a quota system to be put in place to allow qualified women to be placed equally with men at the highest levels of decision-making such as in the cabinet, in Parliament and on boards of organisations.

Holness also said support systems must be put in place to enable women to function in these positions, without a sense of divided loyalty between family and profession.

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