Executive Director, Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Faith Webster, says the Government has embarked on a process of gender mainstreaming, to ensure that gender is integrated into all policies, programmes and plans. Mrs. Webster noted that the Bureau has been charged with the responsibility to lead the process of gender mainstreaming in the public sector. “So, for the past two years we have been trying to see specifically how we can integrate gender into all the various sectors of government,” she said. The Executive Director was addressing members of various public sector agencies and departments during a training workshop on HIV/AIDS and Gender Equality for Gender Focal Points in the Public Sector, held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, on October 31. Mrs. Webster also informed that much training and sensitisation has taken place over the last two years with representatives from the public sector, which has resulted in a better understanding of gender issues among civil servants. “We are quite pleased to see the high level of enthusiasm and participation, which the various groups have shown. It makes us feel very good that people now understand the whole issue of gender, because once, gender was a concept that was so far removed, but now persons are really relating it to their everyday life,” she said. “They have really grasped the concepts and the issues and begun to utilise lessons learnt in their own work,” she added. Gender Equality and HIV Technical Advisor, National HIV Programme (NHP), Patricia Phillips, explained that a major focus of the NHP is to halt and reverse the spread of HIV in Jamaica by 2015. She pointed out that the issues of gender inequality and HIV/AIDS are interconnected and therefore must be “be looked at together,” in order to achieve the desired results. “We will therefore seek to build your (public sector workers) competence to identify that gender equality and HIV has a connection and to enable you to contribute the gender perspective in your workplaces, when your workplace takes on the HIV response,” she said. Ms. Phillips noted that public officials, who have been exposed to gender training through the intervention of the BWA, are strategically positioned to influence policies and programmes that address the issue of HIV in the workplace. The training workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with ‘The Way Out’ United Nations Women Project, the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, and the Office of the Prime Minister. The objectives of the seminar were to review basic HIV information and values clarification; to understand HIV as an issue of gender relations of power, gender in/equality, and human rights; to equip participants with a framework for integrating gender equality and human rights into the HIV workplace response; and to identify the role and basic actions that gender focal points can perform in contributing a gender perspective to the HIV workplace response. Among the Ministries, agencies and departments represented at the seminar were: Ministries of Youth and Culture; Science, Technology, Energy and Mining; Industry, Investment and Commerce; Education; and Labour and Social Security; the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); Office of the Children’s Advocate; and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the sector is on course for “record -breaking growth” this year.He said that revenue earnings for the first half of the year is estimated at US$1.84 billion, which is an increase of over eight per cent compared to the first six months of 2016.The Minister was addressing Wednesday’s (July 26) session of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.The country welcomed 2,165,330 visitors up to the end of June this year, which is 3.9 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year.For the first two weeks of July there were 104,098 stop over visitors – a massive 14.9 per cent increase over the same period in 2016.The strong sector performance since the start of the year builds on the successes of 2016, when the sector expanded by an unprecedented four per cent, and welcomed over 3.84 million visitors in total.Gross Foreign Exchange Earnings for the period amounted to US$2.55 billion up 6.2 per cent, with stopover arrival earnings of US$2.4 billion, representing a 6.1 per cent increase; and cruise passenger earnings of US$148.6 million, up eight per cent.In spite of these prolific numbers, Mr. Bartlett said the Ministry, its agencies and other key stakeholders are never complacent and “we continue to revamp and intensify our strategies to identify key drivers of competitiveness and sustainable tourism development in Jamaica.”Minister Bartlett noted that tourism remains one of the few labour-intensive sectors and directly employs over 106,000 Jamaicans, and another 250, 000 indirectly, through linkages with agriculture, the creative and cultural industries, entertainment, manufacturing, transportation, finance and other services.Over the last 10 years, tourism has expanded by 36 per cent.Direct contribution of tourism to GDP is estimated at 8.4 per cent while total contribution is estimated at 27.2 per cent of GDP.
Evander Holyfield is teaming up with AriseBank, the first decentralized cryptocurrency bank and blockchain development company Cryptonomex, to raise money for disaster preparedness.Using [BitShares ], one of the most advanced blockchain platforms in the world, they will accelerate the slow process of recovery in future disasters like the recent hurricane and wildfire storms.In 2017, super-storms devastated Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California and dozens of other communities in the Caribbean and the Gulf States. These disasters have left millions without the help they need.The money required to restore the Houston Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other areas, can’t be raised fast enough if you’re homeless or forced to live with relatives because your family’s house was one of the one million homes destroyed. Holyfield wants to help raise the funds needed through his charity endowment to help these people recover from these type of disasters in the future.This is not your usual celebrity endorsement. This is a long-lasting strategic partnership. The world sees “digital currency” as a unique solution to the biggest challenges presented by these national tragedies.Holyfield plans on using cryptocurrency to fund humanitarian disaster preparedness. He hopes to raise a million dollars for disaster-related causes and then grow it to a billion-dollar endowment using the Bitshares Endowment model created by the Billion Hero Campaign. Holyfield’s endowment, as well as the original Billion Hero Endowment are hosted on BillionHeroCampaign.com.“I am really excited about this. The more I can do, the better. Cryptocurrency seems to be a good way to help the causes that I care about,” said Evander Holyfield.The team has developed a way to create digital currency endowments that leverage the growth of cryptocurrency using the BitShares platform. One dollar can become hundreds of dollars paid out to victims over several years. One thousand dollars can become hundreds of thousands and so on. As BitShares value grows the donations grow with it.There are a number of companies like AriseBank, building on the BitShares platform and the price is starting to rise. As BitShares becomes more and more popular, the endowment will use that growth to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.Announcements of the launch of “The Holyfield BitShares Endowment for Global Disaster Preparedness” will be coming soon.