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Jamaica joins the international community to commemorate International Women’s Day on 8th March, under the theme: “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.
I welcome the commemoration of the Day as it provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women, globally and nationally. It also allows us to re-evaluate and redouble our efforts towards creating a brighter future for our women and girls in both rural and urban settings. In this respect, the international theme is challenging us all to become active participants in the change that we want to see to transform the lives of the women of our country and to positively impact the society as a whole.

As President of the Council of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, I acknowledge the collective action being undertaken across the ACP States to engender transformation. Many women across the ACP have embraced the vision of how they can improve their lives and those of others, and we welcome partnerships with men on this endeavour. I extend the solidarity of Jamaican women and the women of the ACP Group as we continue to Press for Progress.
The accomplishments of our women are commendable, with increasingly more women becoming members of the Judiciary, engaging in representational politics and becoming entrepreneurs in various fields of endeavour. The contribution of our women to the enhancement of agricultural and rural development is invaluable. I therefore, highlight the importance of our rural women as leaders in the building of healthy families, producers of goods and services for the society and exporters of what they produce. The increased engagement of our rural women in international trade has to be encouraged to further advance Jamaica’s economic development.
Let us celebrate and empower them as role models. Let us work to create pathways for peace and development for our women and girls. Press for Progress this #IWD2018.