He told participants at the Women in Law Conference at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters yesterday, that “For this Government, achieving gender equality is now accepted, understood and pursued as a condition for inclusive economic growth, social equity, human capital and socio-emotional development. It is indeed an integral part of our prosperity plan,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister pointed out that much of the policy initiatives geared toward achieving gender equality was announced during the Finance Minister's Budget presentation.
“Much of the policy initiative announced, many of them would have significant impact for women particularly women in business, small, medium-sized and micro enterprises and in Jamaica’s case, we pursue gender equality (and) we mainstream many of our policies for gender equality because for us it is important in tackling poverty,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister also stated that Government policy regarding gender equality must be geared at treating with issues of violence from a gender perspective.
“For the Government it is not just a fashionable catch-phrase, these are things that we see as important in ensuring the equitable and inclusive development of our society and that’s why we have been making certain investments, you would have heard yesterday (during the Budget debate) of resources allocated for two additional centres to assist women who find themselves in situations of conflicts or situation in which they are being abused with allocated resources to build one (centre) last year and now we have allocated resources to build an additional two,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister during his presentation in recognition of International Women’s Day saluted all women for their efforts in building Jamaica and those who have left their mark on Jamaica’s history.
“The path for women in law has not been an easy one. Acknowledgement must be given to important strides to further guide to further gender parity which took place even prior to our achievement of self-government, the Sex Disqualification Act passed in 1944, removed the barriers that prevented women from entering the public service, this paved the way for Miss Daisy Chambers to become the first female solicitor in Jamaica and for Ena Collymore Woodstock who will be a 102 years old this year and she became the first female Clerk of the Courts and Magistrate. Since our independence, these strides have continued, the Employment, Equal Pay for Men and Women Act of 1975 was passed to remove pay inequality on the basis of sex, this provided more income for women often the head of single-parent household to further educate themselves and to take care of their families,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister said the legal profession demonstrates the strides women have made and is an example of the achievements being celebrated on International Women’s Day in Jamaica.
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