Prime Minister Simpson-Miller recognizes the work of Dr Marcia Forbes

Prime Minister Simpson-Miller recognizes the work of Dr Marcia Forbes

Marcia Forbes PhD

The invitation was for me to be a part of a panel discussion pertaining to media images and violence against women and girls. This was the Bureau of Women’s Affairs’ educational thrust. The event was in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to be celebrated two days later on November 25th. After the panel presentation I realized that my work in gender-related areas was to be formally recognized and ‘rewarded’.

Dr Marcia Forbes responds to questions about media images and violence

Volunteer your Passion!

Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, under whose portfolio the Bureau falls, would be handing out ‘awards’ to fifty of us whose work was being acknowledged at the event. It was indeed a very pleasant surprise for me. Over the years my gender-related work has been totally voluntary. It is driven by a passion to help to make a difference in people’s lives, especially the less fortunate. This principle has guided the books I write, my involvement with the United Way of Jamaica and the Women’s Resource Outreach Centre. Involvement with the latter evolved into the creation of the 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity in November 2011.

We Women & Clothes

Coming back to the event, I had wondered why so many women were so fabulously dressed for the Friday afternoon Bureau of Women’s Affair activity. The Prime Minister herself, coming straight from a celebratory function with the Chinese, was resplendent in a style that was ‘spot-on’ for her prior engagement. On that afternoon, without knowing that there would be more than simply presenting my ‘paper’, a decision was made to channel my bohemian side with wide-foot, bright floral pants which would allow free movement during presentation but toned down by a solid coloured top. I sang and danced and worked to make the presentation of a tough topic into something relevant and easy to understand. The audience responded warmly.


I thank the Bureau of Women’s Affairs for including me on the list of those whose work was recognized, the Prime Minister for being so warm and charming and Blossom O’Meiley-Nelson for inviting me to participate on the panel. As Jamaica struggles to overcome its numerous challenges I invite all of us to volunteer our passion. Helping the cause of women and girls is my passion (one of). It’s so much easier to volunteer to do what you love.

November 2012