JIS News

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  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says the Government is committed to the principle of gender equality, and that its dedication to the promotion and protection of women’s rights has been longstanding and unequivocal.
  • Senator Falconer said not only has Jamaica been a signatory to various international agreements and conventions, “but we have a proud record in the enactment of legislation and other actions which have advanced the cause of women over the years.”
  • The Minister noted that 28 per cent of the country’s Mayors and 56 per cent of the Permanent Secretaries serving in all Government Ministries are females, adding that “scores more head public sector agencies and departments.”

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says the Government is committed to the principle of gender equality, and that its dedication to the promotion and protection of women’s rights has been longstanding and unequivocal.

Speaking at Tuesday’s (September 23) Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) President’s Forum Breakfast, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on the theme: ‘Women on Boards’, Senator Falconer said not only has Jamaica been a signatory to various international agreements and conventions, “but we have a proud record in the enactment of legislation and other actions which have advanced the cause of women over the years.”

“Long before many so-called first world countries were recognizing the rights of women, we enacted (for example), in the 1970s…equal pay for equal work, and the Maternity Leave Act, which have benefited many mothers,”  she added.

Senator Falconer said these and other landmark decisions  have resulted in Jamaican women making significant advances in many areas of the public and private sectors over the past 50 years.

These, she pointed out, have been particularly evident at the highest level of the country’s leadership with positions such as Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General, and Auditor General, currently being held by females.

The Minister noted that 28 per cent of the country’s Mayors and 56 per cent of the Permanent Secretaries serving in all Government Ministries are females, adding that “scores more head public sector agencies and departments.”

 

Additionally, Senator Falconer said female representation on the Boards of public sector entities currently stands at a “commendable” 35 per cent. This figure, she said, is above the 30 per cent minimum representation on any Board for either gender, as outlined in the administration’s National Policy on Gender Equality.

The Minister  informed that the figure also exceeds the 16 per cent membership of females on the Boards of private sector entities.

“While we cannot direct private entities on how they should structure their Boards, the global evidence shows that companies with greater numbers of female Board Directors, perform better,” she noted.

Senator Falconer said 2011 studies conducted and published by Forbes Magazine, and international research non-governmental organization (NGO), Catalyst, indicate that companies with a higher percentage of women on Boards recorded a 53 per cent higher return on equity; 66 per cent higher return on invested capital; and 42 per cent higher return on sales.

“I believe that should be an incentive for members of the private sector to begin looking around for (additional) qualified females who can serve on your Boards,” she argued.