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Story Highlights

  • Gov't committed to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • The Government will continue to drive the implementation of the outstanding recommendations
  • Several targeted public education campaigns, sensitization and training sessions have already been held

Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Information, Sen. Sandrea Falconer on Tuesday, September 17, reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and outlined some of the progress being made as she addressed the opening ceremony of a Government/NGO Dialogue Towards Effective Implementation of the tenets of the Convention being held in Kingston.

In highlighting the Government’s commitment to CEDAW and the implementation of recommendations of the CEDAW Committee, Minister Falconer said the Government will continue to drive the implementation of the outstanding recommendations noting that: “Already we have a fundamental policy shift in how the Government will treat the matter of sexual harassment”. According to Minister Falconer, “previously, the government had decided to implement a national policy and then enact the requisite supporting legislations, but after consultations with the Minister of Justice…our approach will be to move towards promulgating legislation that will penalize sexual harassment and provide an avenue of redress for our women.”

Minister Falconer added that several targeted public education campaigns, sensitization and training sessions have already been held with members of the private and public sectors and civil society and that the Government has established a committee comprising representatives of Government, NGOs and other key stakeholders to examine the issue of Gender-based Violence.

“We are committed to promoting Decent Work for Domestic and Household Workers and ratifying ILO Convention 189 which promotes Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The Minister of Labour and Social Security has stated his commitment to Jamaica’s ratification of Convention 189, and work is advanced to adopt the relevant legislation as well as measures to ensure that the Government can be in a position to ratify this new Convention in the near future. We are also committed to acceding to the CEDAW Optional Protocol” Minister Falconer said.

The Minister said that consistent with commitments given at the international level, the Government of Jamaica will continue to strengthen the national policy framework for development and will not stop until all the work is done, noting “considerable progress has been made in advancing women’s rights and gender equality” although there are lingering challenges which demands a more strategic and creative framework which takes into consideration local realities and how these impact the implementation processes.

The two- day government / NGO Dialogue initiative brings together participants from Jamaica and the region and is organised by International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific) and Woman Inc. (Jamaica) in collaboration with the Association of Women’s Organizations Jamaica (AWOJA).