PNP Women's Movement urges Gov't to pass Sexual Harassment Bill

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) Women's Movement is urging the government to immediately debate and pass the Sexual Harassment Bill of 2016 so that "sexual predators who prey on women" can be convicted.

The call is in response to emerging news reports pointing to the dismissal of a female employee of the Portland Municipal Corporation (PMC), following allegations that she refused sexual advances and harassment by a sitting councillor of the municipality, the PNP group said in a release today.

The organisation said the matter was discussed at a recent meeting of the PMC after Mayor Paul Thompson announced a reshuffling exercise.

“We strongly condemn sexual harassment in any shape or form, and in this case the accused Councillor should do the honourable thing and resign as his actions cannot and should not be tolerated,” PNP Women's Movement President Jennifer Edwards said.

Edwards noted that it is time for the government to re-table, debate and pass the Sexual Harassment Bill which has been sitting in the Lower House since February 2016, while an increasing number of women continue to be assaulted by misogynists.

“Women must have legal recourse against sexual harassment. We cannot stand and allow victims of these unwelcomed and shameful advances to be repeatedly victimised as is being reported in this case. This young woman had to suffer the indignity of being harassed and in addition, she has lost her job,” Edwards said.

The PNP group said the young woman in the Portland situation must be immediately reinstated in her job, as this is the "right and just thing" to do.

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