Usain Bolt has signed on to the UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign, bringing to the forefront of his global audience the issue of gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.
The national launch of the HeForShe Campaign in Jamaica is a collaborative event with partners, the United States Embassy – Jamaica, Respect Jamaica, UN Women Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean, Digicel Jamaica, the High Commission of Canada, the British High Commission, and the European Union Delegation to Jamaica.
The Jamaica campaign is marked by high-level public commitments by the Minister of Gender Affairs, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaican and international recording artistes, such as Beenie Man and Omi, and Jamaican activists Michael Abrahams, Owen “Blakka” Ellis and Mutabaruka. Over 1.3 million people globally have committed to HeForShe.
Usain Bolt’s commitment and the leading HeForShe ambassadors’ participation is a lead-up to the official launch of the campaign at the end of this month.
“This campaign is an initiative which intends to reframe gender equality, from that of a women’s issue, to an issue which requires the full participation of both women and men. I believe that this approach is beneficial to all of society—socially, politically and economically” said Minister Grange, commending the partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica, UN Women, and her Ministry.
“We promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as a constant EU priority,” said José Luis Martínez, Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation in Jamaica. “We are delighted to be part of this effort to raise awareness about violence against women and girls and encourage all Jamaicans to be part of the change.”
In 2014, UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launched the HeforShe Campaign. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality developed by UN Women. HeForShe calls on men and boys to work together with women and girls to end gender-based discrimination, and within that, the most egregious violation—gender-based violence. By aligning with the HeForShe campaign men and boys will signal their commitment to working to realize gender equality in their homes, schools, workplace, communities, places of worship and fields of play—ultimately in all of their social spaces.