JPs urged to familiarise themselves with Sexual Harassment Act
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Social worker at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Avrie Allen-March, is encouraging Justices of the Peace (JPs) to familiarise themselves with the Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention), Act 2021, so they can share it with persons in their communities.
Addressing JPs at a virtual sensitisation session on Tuesday, Allen-March said JPs must be able to “arm other persons with the information and point them to the sources”.
“I am hoping that at the end [of the session] you will be better able to share the information with other persons. I know you are very influential in your different spaces, and I am sure the more you interact with individuals the more you will have dialogue in your corners, so that everyone can become aware,” she added.
She further encouraged the JPs to invite the Bureau of Gender Affairs to their respective communities to sensitise residents about the Act.
Allen-March went through details of the legislation with the JPs, followed by a question-and-answer segment.
The Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act was established as a framework for the Government of Jamaica to address concerns about sexual harassment that are employment-related, occurring in institutions, or arising in the landlord and tenant relationship.
Contained are provisions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other places.
The Bureau of Women’s Affairs, a division of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, is mandated to mobilise the Government to address the problems that confront women, given the impact of patriarchy and sexism.
These problems include violence against women in various forms, such as spousal abuse, rape, incest and sexual harassment.