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    • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government remains committed to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development.
    • “The Government affirms that gender equality is an essential requirement for attaining this. We remain committed to gender equality as a precondition for and indicator of a people-centred approach to national development,” she said.
    • The Minister was speaking at a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-hosted breakfast forum at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (March 8) to commemorate International Women’s Day.

    Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government remains committed to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development.

    “The Government affirms that gender equality is an essential requirement for attaining this. We remain committed to gender equality as a precondition for and indicator of a people-centred approach to national development,” she said.

    The Minister was speaking at a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-hosted breakfast forum at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (March 8) to commemorate International Women’s Day.

    The event was held under the theme: ‘Breaking Through to Next-Level Gender Equality in the Jamaican Workplace’.

    Ms. Grange, who commended the UNDP for its commitment to promoting gender equality through its Gender Equality Seal certification programme for public and private enterprises, indicated that the Government’s longstanding relationship with the organisation will be strengthened by their common vision of providing equal opportunities for all persons.

    She also endorsed the forum’s theme, noting that “it fits perfectly with the Government’s gender mainstreaming programme which gives priority focus to women’s empowerment to achieving gender equality”.

    Ms. Grange pointed out that Jamaica is experiencing a new consciousness in relation to gender equality, arguing that a gender transformative agenda is critical to, not only maintaining peaceful communities, but building sustainable and flourishing national economies.

    Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, commended the Government for its strides in gender mainstreaming.

    These advancements, she noted, have resulted in the elevation of a significant proportion of women (59.3 per cent) to managerial positions; high levels of female enrolment in tertiary institutions; and notable progress in piloting development of the Sexual Harassment Bill and National Policy on Gender Equality.

    Dr. Laurence-Chounoune said the UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal certification programme emphasises the need for greater workplace equity, and encouraged private sector and quasi-public enterprises to participate in the engagement.

    She pointed out that the programme is designed to improve staff retention, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and provide greater return on investment.

    “Your company’s gender equitable footprint is likely to have a well needed positive ripple effect for gender equality throughout Jamaica, which is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all,” she added

    The breakfast forms was jointly hosted with the Bureau of Gender Affairs and Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC).

    It featured presentations from representatives of several leading private sector firms participating in the UNDP’s certification programme, which was launched in Jamaica in 2017.

    International Women’s Day 2019 was observed on March 8 under the campaign theme: ‘#BalanceforBetter’.

    The global theme was: ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’.