Neighbourhood watch president urges women to get involved

MONTEGO BAY, St James —

Women who truly want to make a difference in curbing crime are being urged to work with their local neighbourhood watch groups. The call came from president of the National Neighbourhood Watch (NNW) Dr Asha Mwendo who is also hoping to change how these local community groups are perceived.

“I am saying to… all of Jamaica and to our diaspora, if you are partnering with us as… let’s come together and let our voices be heard for the change we seek. Help us to reduce crime and violence, preventing it from getting to your doorway,” she said.

She was speaking during a forum held in Trelawny last Friday in observance of International Day for Rural Women.

“On International Day of Girls, we had the news coming out of two young girls who were raped and stabbed and left for dead in their own homes. So our women now must stand up and let our voices be heard and the neighbourhood watch is a beautiful platform upon which this can happen,” said Dr Mwendo.

The first female to ascend to the post of NNW president in the history of the 35-year-old association, she is convinced that for change to take place at the community level, women must be included and involved.

“We… are the cradle rockers, so we have to start the process now of re-educating our boys and our men in how to treat us and that is happening by how we treat them,” she stated.

“As mothers and caregivers, how we nurture them in the home [affects what happens] when they come out in society. Allow our men to show their emotions now and learn how to handle their emotions because later on they are going to use it against themselves and us,” she added.

She is hoping that a change in how the NNW is viewed will be enough to encourage more women to become involved at that level.

“We are changing the game from being seen as — and that’s the perception — informer groups. We are saying we are part of the proactive answer that this nation needs to reduce crime and violence,” she said.

“We are saying to you come and be a part of the neighbourhood watch movement so that we can set the pace for the reduction and crime and violence especially about us, the women, and against us the women,” she urged.

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