International Women’s Day: 8 Women who made the World a better place in 2014 – Part 1 on Jamila Bayaz


Reblogged

Original posted on Huffington Post:

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day we celebrate the women and girls in our lives and also look to others around the world. Today in Budapest, I was out with my boyfriend and was amazed by the sheer number of flower vendors and florists which had just popped up over-night!

As Andrew quipped, the difference between love and lust can really be seen in places like this. We stopped at a florist where I was treated to a beautiful bunch of tulips and he saw a man staggering under the weight of what must have been 30 or 40 long-stemmed red roses. Whereas I was told “not to go too mad and buy the whole shop”!

But I digress – I want to talk about International Women’s Day, not just my Saturday!

Quite often, news outlets and NGOs are quick to share links about the tragedies faced by girls around the world. Malala Yousafzai’s face and story is all over the internet today, alongside stories about the ongoing global struggle against child marriage, rape, torture and abuse.

But this year, I wanted to look at some positive examples of female empowerment and some cheerier stories.

I found this on the Huffington Post and have shamelessly stolen it. I find this is a much more life-affirming way to celebrate women. Let’s look at what has been achieved and what we have to proud of as a global society, because if we keep looking at all the terrible atrocities faced by women every day, we’ll never want to try fighting the fight. These are the sort of stories which keep me motivated to keep writing about women’s rights so I hope you get something out of it too!

1. Afghanistan’s first female police chief showed the world what courage looks like.

Col. Jamila Bayaz was appointed to run security in the Kabul’s District 1 in January, becoming the first woman in such a senior front line role. The mother-of-5 is responsible for policing an area of the Afghan capital that includes the presidential palace, government ministries and the central bank. “This is a chance not just for me, but for the women of Afghanistan,” she told NBC. “I will not waste it. I will prove that we can handle this burden.”

Women in Afghanistan have faced a steep battle to reenter the workforce and public life after the end of the Taliban’s restrictive rule. They still face considerable obstacles including discrimination from an ultraconservative society and the threat of militant attacks. Afghan policewomen have been targeted by insurgents and several women in public office were assassinated in 2013, according to the Associated Press. Bayaz is undaunted: “I am ready to serve, I am not scared nor am I afraid,” she told AP.

jamila bayaz

jamila bayaz

Col. Jamila Bayaz talks on the phone at her office in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

The Soapbox

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day we celebrate the women and girls in our lives and also look to others around the world. Today in Budapest, I was out with my boyfriend and was amazed by the sheer number of flower vendors and florists which had just popped up over-night!

As Andrew quipped, the difference between love and lust can really be seen in places like this. We stopped at a florist where I was treated to a beautiful bunch of tulips and he saw a man staggering under the weight of what must have been 30 or 40 long-stemmed red roses. Whereas I was told “not to go too mad and buy the whole shop”!

DSC_0013

But I digress – I want to talk about International Women’s Day, not just my Saturday!

Quite often, news outlets and NGOs are quick to share links about the tragedies faced by girls…

View original post 1,529 more words

International Women’s Day: Say No To Quotas!


Re-blogged from Veritas:

Today is being celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate the achievements of those of the fairer sex, while highlighting the work that is still to be done on behalf of women in some of the forgotten corners of our world. Perhaps inevitably the conversation today will turn to towards finding solutions to the real and perceived inequalities facing women. That conversation will undoubtedly rest on quota systems. In fact, a member of the Jamaican Senate has already raised the issue, arguing that it would compensate for the disparity between men and women in the Parliament.  I’m no expert in these matters, and I do not pretend to be – these are my opinions having thought about the issue. I have no doubt that the Senator has good intentions, but I cannot support quotas on the basis of gender, especially in political representation. Here’s why.

women leaders

Quota systems in politics exist to solve inherent or structural inequalities. That is, the state engineers what is thought to be a desired result by allocating or reserving a certain amount of seats in the parliament for women, on the basis that they are women. That would be the first qualifier. While advocacy groups here in Jamaica such as the 51% Coalition have argued that the women who would occupy these reserved seats/spaces are to be qualified, they do not deny that the basic qualifier would be gender. It raises the question, is there inherent and structural inequality in Jamaican politics? By this I mean, are women prevented from running for, and holding public office simply because they are women? Of course not. A female colleague of mine only this morning tweeted that she is thankful to have been born and raised in a country where being a female was not a deterrent or an impediment. We must then question why we need to engineer the democratic process to reflect what we think it ought to look like. This betrays our impatience with the democratic process. We believe the pluralist society we consider ideal is taking shape too slowly for our liking, so we must necessarily meddle, engineer and interfere to suit or preferences. That is dangerous. That is to be rejected.

Quotas amount to affirmative action, and just as any other beneficiary of affirmative action is seen as less than, or only having attained the position they occupy because  whatever predetermined trait commended them to it, and no matter what their independent qualifications are, we run the real risk of them being shadowed by the quota system. It is my considered opinion that such a move would set back the process, rather than further it.

By favouring one sex over another, we are creating an atmosphere of resentment and animosity; the state will be playing favourites. That is not the role of government, that is not the role of the state. We diminish the capacity of women to make advancements on merit, and single them out for special treatment and remedial action. How would this be in their best interest? How would we have advanced the cause of women by using their gender as the predominant qualifier? Am I the only one who finds that offensive?

Finally, there is an inherent problem with quotas which allows for manipulation. The state ought not to play favourites, as mentioned before. Therefore, if we create quotas on the basis of gender, we may have to do it on the basis of race, then religious persuasion, or political persuasion, and possibly even sexual orientation. Only that would be fair. My question is, where would one draw the line? There is an inherent problem with seeking to adopt a strictly pluralist society, and that problem is chaos. While I can appreciate the good intentions of those who propose quotas, I believe it complicates the problem, rather than fixes it. Democracy was not intended to be engineered or manipulated by the state and its agents; it was intended to unfold at the ballot, by the people, through their vote. If the people want more women, Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, Rastafarians, blacks etc. in Parliament, let them vote them in. Do not reserve seats for them because of predetermined characteristics. I cannot support that.

GRASSROOTS JAMAICA

ImageToday is being celebrated the world over as International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate the achievements of those of the fairer sex, while highlighting the work that is still to be done on behalf of women in some of the forgotten corners of our world. Perhaps inevitably the conversation today will turn to towards finding solutions to the real and perceived inequalities facing women. That conversation will undoubtedly rest on quota systems. In fact, a member of the Jamaican Senate has already raised the issue, arguing that it would compensate for the disparity between men and women in the Parliament.  I’m no expert in these matters, and I do not pretend to be – these are my opinions having thought about the issue. I have no doubt that the Senator has good intentions, but I cannot support quotas on the basis of gender, especially in political representation. Here’s why.

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Salute to Jamaican women on International Women’s Day


Today is International Women’s Day however women should be celebrated every day. They are the pillars and corner stone of our homes, communities and society. They are the ones who often shape us as individuals and provide unconditional love.

Being a strong role model and nurturer, women play their roles selflessly. They sacrifice to ensure that their children and all those who are around them are cared for and loved. We know our mothers to be some of the strongest people on earth. They steer us and teach the guiding principles that we often live by, as adults. They are always there even as adults when we need refuge and support.

I take time out to salute the women leaders of our country and industries; for being no less than any man, but continuing to excel and launch new endeavours in the business world. To our women doctors, lawyers, ministers, auxiliary workers, farmers, nurses, police, bus drivers and every other woman in the centres and outskirts of our island Jamaica. I salute you.

Thank you for being the shoulder we can cry on

Thank you for putting food on the table

Thank you for your sacrifice

Thank you for teaching lessons of love;

Thank you for being that kind face in the hospital

Thank you for being that understanding and gentle teacher in the classroom

Thank you for enforcing and protecting our rights

Thank you for your hard work,

…as you continue to toil, every day and night.

 

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Denise N. Fyffe

Love’s Story: I want to be your husband


She smiled. Words had deserted her like traitorous fiends. She drew his head to hers and held him, with every bone, muscle and flesh. They had stepped into forever.

…never letting go.

Denise N. Fyffe

403846291555091452_81fiwvjg_f“I want to be your man.”

“I want to be your husband.”

She could feel her breath escape her nostrils in a flare. Her heart skipped a beat and the pores of her skin opened. She felt faint. Thank God she was lying down. Her fingers tingled, numb. All sensation disappeared.

Fear. The urge to run, kissed her lips and beckoned her to come in that second.’

Sigh.

“I want to be a better man for you,” he continued.

“I want to be with you. I don’t want to be far from you.”

The intended meaning sunk into her heart and her brain registered their intention. She could feel his hands in her’s, his cheek on her cheek, his breathe caressed the base of her temple.

Sigh.

‘God, I am a lucky woman’, she thought.

His love felt like exquisite chocolate caressing her esophagus. It was all she could do not to run to the hills, leaping with joy and fear simultaneously.

“Hey,” he said. “Did…

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Love’s Story


Originally posted on Denise N. Fyffe: He was so unsuspecting. He snuck up on her, in a place, where she would not expect him to be. Yet, he was everything she wanted. No, he was not perfect, but he was the perfect man for her. He never judged her and he loved her to the…

via Love’s Story — Revealing the Christian Life

Love’s Story: I want you


There is something powerful about a man who looks you in the eye and he says, “I want you.”

Denise N. Fyffe

black-couple1There is something powerful about a man who looks you in the eye and he says, “I want you.”

I want to marry you.

I want you to have my children.

I want to grow old with you.

I want no one but you, I am done searching.

I cannot live without you, in my life.

Those words have power. Power to free you from your self-conceived shackles.

Power to make you superwoman. Power to make you take that love, power and promise; shake it up, multiply it and return it 100 fold.

Those words..I want you…enforced by action, thought, attention and wrapped in love, is life-giving.

So yes, I want you and no one else.

*****

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Jamaican Weddings: Ways to use doves in your wedding ceremony

White wedding doves courtesy of wdrelease-com
White wedding doves courtesy of wdrelease-com

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise Fyffe

White wedding doves courtesy of discover-southern-ontario-com

White wedding doves courtesy of discover-southern-ontario-com

Prince, who is a singer, songwriter, multimillionaire, from the 1980’s did a song called, “When doves cry”.  We all know that this is not so, but these lovely creatures are symbolic of love and unity. Thousands of wedding ceremony have incorporated them because of this symbolism. Couples add in white doves into their wedding ceremonies; hoping that it adds meaning and says to their partner, how they feel about them. It also indicates to their guests how in love the couple really is.

People experiment with their Jamaican weddings more and more. They believe in including the many facets that they as a couple enjoy; especially with the theme and music.  They still keep the older tradition of throwing rice and jumping the broom; but they have included new traditions more. Therefore weddings now include doves, bubbles and anything else the couple can think to add.

The use of dove is very varied. Couples come up with different methods of setting them free or adding them to the wedding ceremony. The trend is to use white doves. They can be released usually at the end of the ceremony from the chapel or loft. They can be released just before the couple drives off, or even after they say their I dos, depending on the wedding venue. The release indicates or represents the couple branching out into the world, and starting a life together.

White wedding doves courtesy of beetreetrail-com

White wedding doves courtesy of beetreetrail-com

The reference to doves can also be included in the ceremony. This can be stated by the minister, priest or officiator. He or she will draw reference to the symbolism or it can be included by the couple in the vows; especially in the exchange of rings section. The decision as to when these references are made, or when to release the doves, lies with the happy couple.

You also need to consider the holding areas or cages for the doves. There are many ways to incorporate them, and also how to display them. They can be keep close to the venue or ceremony area; just as long as they won’t be a distraction or noisy. You can think about the color or type of cage to put them in; whether white, gold or silver. You can have a handler there who will see to their food and comfort needs. Because of what hey symbolize your guests will be touched and many awed by their presence and inclusion into the ceremony.

When, where and how to include the doves, does not have to be complicated. The couple can decide whether to include them in your nuptials, at the reception or after the nuptials. You can also dictate the number of doves to release. This can be two or more; and reference can also be made to this in the ceremony.