Gov’t Committed to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government is committed to the achievement of gender equality, equity and women’s economic empowerment.
  • Senator Johnson-Smith was addressing a round-table panel discussion entitled ‘Leave No One Behind: Actions and Commitments for Women’s Economic Empowerment’ at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York recently.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government is committed to the achievement of gender equality, equity and women’s economic empowerment.

This, she said is in keeping with national development objectives as expressed in Vision 2030 and bolstered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She noted that Jamaica continues to develop and implement a gender-sensitive national framework, policies and development plans and boasts the highest proportion of women managers, not only in the region but in the world, with 59 per cent of all managers being female.

Senator Johnson-Smith was addressing a round-table panel discussion entitled ‘Leave No One Behind: Actions and Commitments for Women’s Economic Empowerment’ at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York recently.

She said that the Government is committed to developing a society in which “no one is left behind” and will continue to champion the cause of gender equality.

As such, she said, the Administration supports the full implementation of resolutions in the General Assembly and Security Council related to the advancement, peace and security of women, and in particular United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, pioneered by Jamaica during its presidency of the Security Council in 2001.

She added that Jamaica has also ratified and remains committed to the implementation of several gender-related international instruments, such as the Beijing Platform for Action, International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention C087, C098 and C189 and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Minister Johnson Smith pointed out that the country is also keen to reform legal frameworks to protect informal workers and promote the formalisation of their work in line with ILO Recommendation 204.

She pointed out that a Joint Select Committee of the Parliament is also reviewing four important pieces of legislation, which address violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups, including the Sexual Offences Act and the Domestic Violence Act.

She noted that the Government has employed a multisectoral approach to addressing the issue of cultural bias that stymies the advancement of gender equality, and has engaged multiple ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to contribute actively to gender mainstreaming and to the strengthening of policies and legislation.

Minister Johnson Smith informed that the 27 MDAs have received the Gender Equality Certification and Seal, which highlights that these entities have created equitable working conditions for women.

The panel discussion was organised by the Group of Champions for Women’s Economic Empowerment and UN Women.

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