Posted April 28, 2015 from Jamaica

WMW Jamaica has sounded the clarion call. At the launch of its ‘I Am A PowHERhouse’ campaign at the Knutsford Court hotel last week, the organisation issued an appeal for Jamaican society to work towards greater gender equality at all levels. The campaign’s main goal is to increase public awareness about issues facing women and to “harness the power of media for women’s political empowerment”.

Guest speaker Krystal Tomlinson, media personality and Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2013, shed what she described as “tears of joy” as she took the podium.

“Not many of us consider ourselves to be powerhouses,” she began, “even though we have power in our houses.” She pointed out that women were continually questioning themselves: “Trying to prove something that is a fact.”

“I am happy that we have a female prime minister,” Tomlinson continued. “I don’t want it to be novel anymore.” She said that similar to how Jamaica’s athletic prowess was no longer a new or foreign concept, she was hoping for the day when female leadership in the Caribbean would become an accepted norm.

“Not accepting that we have a gender imbalance robs people of the opportunity to enjoy equality,” she cautioned, making reference to the “feminisation” of poverty, evidenced in the fact that women in Latin America and the Caribbean still earn significantly less than men (40 per cent), despite often being more qualified.

To change this trend, Tomlinson emphasised the importance of mentorship for young females. “It is important for young women to meet someone they can look up to,” she said, because “society trains women out of leadership”.

The campaign, supported by the United Nations Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, will have spokespersons who are powerful and popular persons, such as Professor Rosalea Hamilton, musician Tony Rebel, and media personality Jean Lowrie Chin. It will also include the use of social media to push its message, as well as more traditional media.

“As women’s educational attainment continues to increase, they represent an incredible talent pool and national resource,” noted Hilary Nicholson, WMW Jamaica founding member. “Gender balance in the labour market and national governance is a major engine of growth and competitiveness. It is increasingly evident that utilising the skills and talents of both men and women are beneficial for enterprises and for society in general.”

WMW Jamaica is a non-governmental organisation that specialises in training, advocacy and research. It uses gender aware media analysis and transformative action to cultivate gender equality, justice and violence-free social relations.

The Path to Participation Initiative from World Pulse and No Ceilings

Comments 8

Log in or register to post comments
Alyssa Rust
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

Dear Ruthibelle,

Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you the best of luck with your “I Am A PowHERhouse” campaign. It sounds like you are doing some great work with the WMW Jamaica and I hope you will continue to share with the World Pulse community all the work that you are doing to cultivate gender equality. Thanks again for sharing this with us.

Sincerely, Alyssa Rust  

Ma. Guzman-Callano
May 03, 2015
May 03, 2015

I FEEL THE POWER OF YOUR MESSAGE, RUTHIBELLE!  No doubt, every woman has an innate power biologically, intellectually, and characterwise.The statistics of women leaders in government, business, education, sports, science are improving although the pace is very slow. Still, let us be positive and continue the efforts to put women at the forefront. Tell more success stories like this one and inspire more women to lead and prove that they be as great as the men. 

Thanks for shring this wonderful story, Ruth!

Tamarack Verrall
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Hello Ruthibelle,

First I read your words, and I loved knowing that a speaker shed tears of joy just celebrating women coming together, and I celebrated, myself, knowing through you that there is such a good leadership programme underway in your country. Your focus on equality for women and an end to violece is so important, and your work there strengthens all of our work toward the same ends. Then I watched the video, and my heart is full seeing and hearing from all of you strong women. Congratulations on a great and much needed programme.

With very best wishes for flourishing growth,


Pushpa Achanta
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Dear Ruthibelle,

Nice hearing of this unique campaign. Please continue sharing details of it and your other activities.

Warmth, love & solidarity,


Edith Kalanzi
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Oh Ruthibelle, what an initiative, thanks so much for writing! Together with you, we can boldly say: women are powHERhouses! I particularly like what Guest speaker Tomlinson said about young females having mentors. I couldn't agree more.

All the best in your endeavours,


May 11, 2015
May 11, 2015

Dear Ruthibelle

Thanks so much for sharing your story and video. One sentence in your post really struck a chord with me - 'society trains women out of leadership'. That is so true, and I see it happening here in Australia as well. I think this is connected to the way in which women always question themselves (something that you also point out, and which I hear myself and my female colleagues and friends do as well). I love that you have named the campaign PowHerhouse - what a strong, bold name, I love it!

Sending you best wishes for your continued work in this important area


May 15, 2015
May 15, 2015


What a great campaign, I feel like I'm a powerhouse myself. It's just a awesome opportunity for women.Thanks for sharing and continuou with the good work in Jamaica!


Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
May 17, 2015
May 17, 2015

Dear Ruthibelle,

This campaign is very interesting and i wish you all the best and pray that you achieve your goals and make Jamaica a more gender sensitive country. Continue with the good work and continue to share more of your stories. Stay blessed.