The Jamaica Teachers' Association joins with its International Partner, Education International and other affiliates in observing World Women's Day, Friday, March 8, 2013.

The 2011 EI Resolution on Gender Equality noted that "women outnumber men in union membership in most countries, but that progress in women's participation in union leadership is slow and uneven".

Professional women make up more than 80 percent of all organizations and the JTA is no different. As such, we use this opportunity to recognize and celebrate them as integral partners in the business of education.

Many of the achievements made by institutions and organizations throughout the world were led by females. In the political field there were individuals such as Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Eugenia Charles, Benazir Bhutto, Janet Jagan, Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Portia Simpson-Miller.

In the education sector, the JTA in particular, individuals such as Helen Stills, Fay Saunders, Nadine Molloy, Dr. Nadine Scott, Ena Barclay, Ellorine Walker, Rosemarie Vernon, Dr. Dorothy Raymond, Judith Spencer Jarrett and Sadie Comrie, are among those who have over the years devoted their time and energy to the cause of education and the promotion of the ideals of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, JTA.

The evidence is unquestionable that through their hard work, many of the benefits now enjoyed by Jamaican teachers were won through tireless negotiations and lobbying by these dedicated individuals. The education sector has been better with their input and this cannot be questioned.

The buzz thought is now 'Gender Equality'. The JTA is quite cognizant of the difficulty experienced by many women for recognition and equality to men, but through the Women's Caucus, an arm of the Association, members continue to promote issues pertaining to the welfare and challenges faced by female educators.

Our women are equals and importantly so and, should be given that pride of place in all that is done. We should use this occasion to continue our focus on ensuring that violence against our women and girls is minimized and ultimately eliminated.

Too often violence in our society and more recently in our schools have been targeting these very important groups.

We believe that an attack on women and girls is an attack on the profession as most of our members are women and the majority of our children are girls attending schools.

Violence in any form, is an attack on society and its normal functioning and must not be allowed to flourish.

We agree with Education International that our women have consistently demonstrated their commitment to their families, to the development of unions, to education and also to the society and should be treated as equals in what has been seen in many countries as male dominated societies.

Let us see this year's observance of International Women's Day as more than just a celebration, but more as an opportunity to 'right whatever wrong' has been done while at the same time use this year's observance as a 'Call to Action'.

The JTA will continue to play its part in the advancement of the welfare of our women and girls.


Leaon Nash
Communication/Public Relations Officer
Jamaica Teachers' Association


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