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Women’s group: Continue work started by Verna

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The State needs to continue the work started by former gender, child and youth development minister Verna St Rose-Greaves, says Women Working for Social Progress (WorkingWomen). In a release yesterday, the group said St Rose-Greaves was well on her way to getting serious measures implemented as minister.


“Among the measures she had begun to put in place were a national child registry to record and track the lives of children, and a system of community social workers, nurses, policemen and educators. These were to be part of new support systems that would be an integral part of each community,” said the release. 


“They would work with communities, drawing on the leadership and wisdom in the community, because it is the people of the community who best understand their needs, and can predict and prevent untenable and destructive situations in families.” The group expressed support for St Rose-Greaves after her outburst in Parliament last Friday on the country’s failure to protect its children.


“Though unorthodox, the methods by which Verna St Rose-Greaves chooses to highlight the plight of children, few but the most cold-hearted would fail to relate to her despair and passion,” the group said. “This is clearly a woman who knows what institutional frameworks are needed to address this regular slaughter of innocents and the surrounding issue of our country’s abysmally inadequate provision for children.”


The group called for parenting education and questioned the disciplinary methods used by parents toward their children. “Delivering blows to a child’s body is seen as a right of parents, caregivers and teachers. When it comes to our treatment of children, we need to make a cultural shift. “How many people feel they were just trying to ‘discipline’ the child? How many young people just fall into parenting, with only support for childbirth, but none for childcare?” WorkingWomen said children could not be protected and devalued at the same time.


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