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  • Jamaica ranks highly among the countries making significant progress towards achieving gender parity, sitting 42nd out of 153 nations, as outlined in the recent Global Gender Gap Report.
  • Gender parity is a statistical measurement for female-to-male ratio for indicators such as income and education.
  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who made the announcement, said Jamaica has made significant strides in reducing the overall gender gap and has, since 2006, achieved parity in educational attainment.

Jamaica ranks highly among the countries making significant progress towards achieving gender parity, sitting 42nd out of 153 nations, as outlined in the recent Global Gender Gap Report.

Gender parity is a statistical measurement for female-to-male ratio for indicators such as income and education.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who made the announcement, said Jamaica has made significant strides in reducing the overall gender gap and has, since 2006, achieved parity in educational attainment.

“Additionally, Jamaica is 24th globally in terms of economic participation and opportunity, having already closed 73.5 percent of this gap,” she said.

The Minister was speaking at a forum, dubbed: ‘Empowered and Equal’, which co-hosted by the Government of Canada, through the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica, and the Institute of Law and Economics, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (March 6).

Ms. Grange said the Government of Jamaica is committed to ensuring that there is a robust gender framework which protects and empowers the nation’s women.

“This is evident in our strong policy framework that offers protection to women and children; increased gender parity in education; paid maternity rights; increasing the number of women on managerial posts; and reduced child mortality,” she noted.

These gains, the Minister pointed out, are the “fruits of collaboration” involving the Government, civil society, international partners and the private sector. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Grange praised the Institute of Law and Economics and the Canadian Commission in Jamaica for organizing the forum, which focused on the challenges young girls exiting juvenile detention experience and, more importantly, exploring solutions that will enable them to pursue a dignified life.

Grants are provided through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), for small scale, high impact projects being implemented locally to address issues such as this. 

The Canada Fund is supporting a project by the Institute, titled ‘Strengthening Case Management Ecosystems’, which is helping case managers to address the needs of young girls exiting juvenile facilities in Jamaica.

The initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of 12 case mangers contracted by the Institute to better identify and support girls and young women exiting correctional facilities, who are experiencing challenges reintegrating into society.

“Although the grants are small, just enough to get the job done – [they are] achieving [a] big impact,” Ms. Grange said.

Meanwhile, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters, said her Government “is guided by a feminist foreign policy and a feminist international assistance policy”, which are being shared with Jamaican partners.

“The Canada Fund allows us to express [these policies] at a local level where it counts. It allows us to complement the major international and national development priorities that we have when we partner with Jamaica, to make sure that the national strategic action plan to combat violence against women is truly one that has teeth and sustainability,” she said.

The activities of the case management project will complement the “A New Path” project by the Organization of American States (OAS), which seeks to build Jamaica’s capacity for effective youth reintegration after incarceration. 

Friday’s forum featured testimonials from formerly incarcerated women and young girls, who have benefited from participation in the “A New Path” project.

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