Pubdate: Mon, 21 Nov 2005
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2005 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Liblance Morgan

Letter of the Day


The Editor, Sir:

AS I could not participate in the forum on crime, as a concerned 
citizen, I am using this medium to make my contribution as follows:

Gender clearly now must be seen to mean more than women's issues. 
Jamaica urgently needs a Plan of Action for Men as part of the effort 
to address the root causes of crime.

The figures for crime and road traffic accidents over the last few 
years show that Jamaica has a very serious problem with the 
anti-social behaviour of a significant section of its male 
population. Indications are that violence in schools is an increasing 
problem especially among boys. It seems that on average, the drop-out 
rate among boys is higher and their academic performance lower. Fewer 
males have been graduating from UWI. Few men attend church 
(churchgoers appear to be mainly female, if my own church with over 
80 per cent female attendance is a reflection of this trend). Whereas 
indiscipline is pervasive in the society as a whole, it appears, 
undisciplined and extremely aggressive behaviour is more pronounced 
in the males. Young males in inner-city areas are basically killing 
each other in gang wars and sour drug deals. The figures clearly show this.

Jamaica needs a National Plan of Action for Males as part of the 
effort to address the root causes of crime and violence and as part 
of its overall development strategy. Perhaps, there is need to 
declare a 'Year of the Jamaican Male' in which to focus on the 
problems facing, particularly, the young males between the ages of 10 
and 25 and to develop a Plan of Action for their rehabilitation, 
development and integration into society. The aim should be to 
implement this plan in a follow-up 'Decade of the Male'. This does 
not mean that the concerns of women will be accorded a lower 
priority. It means that as a nation, we are facing reality. The 
development of Jamaica requires the positive contribution of both its 
men and women.

I am, etc.,

Liblance Morgan

Kingston 20M
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