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Grange hails progress of women, notes that work remains

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — As Jamaica marks International Women's Day today , Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, is hailing the strides made by the country's women in politics and government, while acknowledging that more work needs to be done.

She noted that Jamaica has achieved a remarkable level of female participation in the legislature and senior and middle management positions in government.

She said that the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap 2016 Report ranked Jamaica 10th in Latin America and Caribbean in terms of female representation in politics.

In addition, the country is among 11 Caribbean countries that have had a female head of government.

“Currently, females represent 19 per cent of the Lower House, and 18 per cent of the Cabinet. Jamaica also had its first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade appointed on 7th March, 2016,” she noted, while addressing the Rose Leon Memorial Lecture held recently at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium, St Andrew.

Grange said despite the progress made, the Government recognises that more needs to be done to increase female participation in politics, and is a party to several international conventions and programmes aimed at achieving this goal.

These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1980; Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; United Nations Decade for Women; Nairobi World Conference on the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women; Cairo Programme of Action; Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; Millennium Development Goals; Sustainable Development Goals; Ten-Year Review of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing+10); Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality; CARICOM Plan of Action (2005); and the Convention of Belém do Pará.

Jamaica has also implemented several national projects geared towards reducing gender inequality through the Bureau of Gender affairs (BGA) and other key partners.

“Through the BGA, work is done across ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that gender equality is a chief focus on the Government's agenda. Key to doing this is conducting research on women in politics and decision-making as well as hosting training, conferences and symposia to increase women participation in politics,” she pointed out.

The annual memorial lecture pays tribute to Rose Leon who is credited with being Jamaica's first female minister of government to be selected for executive duties in the Jamaican Parliament by each of the two major political parties.

She was also the first Jamaican woman to hold the position of chair of a political party as well as serving as an international lay magistrate.

She is remembered as being an outstanding entrepreneur, business innovator, philanthropist and a champion for the underprivileged.

The lecture was hosted by the Jamaica Women's Political Caucus (JWPC) and its Rose Leon Memorial Trust.

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