Gleaner Published: Tuesday 19 March 2019
Although the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has steadily increased its ratio of women in the army from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, chief of defence staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade has said the ultimate aim of the army is to create a force in which there will be no reference to quota.
“My long-term goal is to set standards, and whoever meets the standard would come in without reference to gender or anything else, the same way we don’t refer to colour and we only refer to height because there are some practicalities with holding the rifle,” he said.
Meade said the JDF, in the past, recruited women in an ad hoc manner, but the focus was now on the competence of the individual.
“We are going for a competence-based force, so irrespective of any personal attributes, if you are competent, you should have an opportunity to serve,” he said
He noted, however, that some women might not be attracted to the force given the nature of job.
“I don’t know if the number of women I am attracting now is because that is the job that is available, so I think it will settle down itself one day,” he said.