Gov’t Putting Measures in Place to Address Gender-Based Violence

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, addresses the launch of the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 29. Listening (from left) are President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Larry Watson; Interim Leader of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel for Women Economic Empowerment, Patricia Francis; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Jamaica, Bruno Pouezat; and UNDP Panama Specialist on Gender Equality, Diana Guitierrez.

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be implementing a raft of measures, including policies and legislation, to address gender-based violence.
  • Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the Sexual Harassment Bill is ready for submission to Cabinet, while the parliamentary committee to review the Sexual Offences Act will be announced before the end of the year.
  • Ms. Grange said it is imperative to end gender-based violence, calling for persons to rally together to ensure that this is achieved.

The Government will be implementing a raft of measures, including policies and legislation, to address gender-based violence.

Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the Sexual Harassment Bill is ready for submission to Cabinet, while the parliamentary committee to review the Sexual Offences Act will be announced before the end of the year.

She noted further that a National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence will be handed over to Cabinet shortly.

Ms. Grange was addressing the launch of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 29.

The first of its kind to be piloted in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean, after a successful run in Latin America, the globally recognised programme aims to address gaps in the workplace by encouraging the relevant entities to create equitable conditions for both men and women.

The certification programme promotes an environment where women’s work and contributions are equally valued, and has resulted in improved productivity and profitability in private and quasi-public enterprises using gender mainstreaming strategies.

Private- and public-sector enterprises are awarded gold-, silver- or bronze-level seals once specific standards are met.

These include detecting and eliminating gender-based pay gaps, promoting zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace, and using inclusive and non-sexist communication inside and outside of the company.

In Latin America, approximately 1,400 companies have participated in the initiative, including entities like Scotiabank, Hewlett Packard and IBM.

Many employees have reported transformation in the policies of the companies that promote equality among the sexes.

Ms. Grange said it is imperative to end gender-based violence, calling for persons to rally together to ensure that this is achieved.

UNDP Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Jamaica, Bruno Pouezat, said the Gender Equality Seal represents a practical and pragmatic strategy to achieving the 2030 Global Development Agenda.

This speaks to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

He noted that adopting the programme serves as a signal to customers, stakeholders and partners that the entity has achieved excellence in gender equality practices in recruitment and placement, career opportunities and sexual harassment protocols, to name a few.

Discussions are currently being held with some companies in Jamaica for the introduction of the Gender Equality Seal.

They include Rubis Jamaica Limited, Scotiabank, Jamaica National Building Society, and the Development Bank of Jamaica.

It is hoped that more companies will adopt the programme in short order.

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