Kingston, October 5 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the HonourableOlivia Grange, announced today that, “The names of persons recommended to sit on the Sexual Harassment Tribunal have been sent to the Cabinet for approval.”

Minister Grange made the announcement as she addressed the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne ArshtLatin America Centre event, Advancing Caribbean Development through Women’s Empowerment, held at the Spanish Court Hotel.

She said approval of the persons will be considered subject to fit and proper certification by the Ministry of National Security as stipulated by the Sexual Harassment Legislation.

The Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act, 2021 became fully operationalised on July 3, 2023. The legislation contains provisions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other spaces.



Minister Grange also told today’s gathering that it gave her great pleasure that as government officials, members of civil society organisations and the private sector they could collectively take part in a discussion, “Advancing Caribbean Development through Women’s Empowerment”. 

“We cannot pay lip service when it comes to efforts aimed at achieving women’s empowerment and expect that our society will ultimately thrive.”

“We must recognise the need to double down on strategies geared towards empowering women and girls and achieving gender equality. Key among these strategies is ensuring that gender equality and women’s empowerment is prioritised in national development policies, strategies and the governing legislative framework.  

“To this end, the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has developed and implemented strategic gender-based plans and policies such as, the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE) and the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence (NSAP-GBV), which collectively advocate for the advancement of women’s and girls’ rights, combating violence against women and girls (VAGW), as well as, eliminating discriminatory practices that may result in inequalities and exclusion in our laws, structures and everyday culture. 

“Our women and girls can only be truly empowered if they receive assurance from the State that they are free to fully exercise their fundamental human rights without fear of discrimination.  

As Gender Minister, I have worked assiduously, as part of various Joint Select Committees (JSC) of Parliament to contribute towards gender-responsive legislative reform. 

“I am proud to say that these JSCs have reviewed offences and punishments under four key pieces of gender-based violence (GBV) legislation, namely, (1) the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA), (2) the Sexual Offences Act and (3) the Offences Against the Persons Act (OAPA) and (4) the Domestic Violence Act (DVA). 

“Importantly as well, women will not be truly empowered if they are unable to occupy leadership and decision-making roles in political and public life.

“To further bolster women in political representation, on December 13, 2022, the House of Representatives approved a Motion for the establishment of a caucus of women parliamentarians from both chambers as a sessional committee. This Bi-Cameral caucus will create a sustainable medium where all women parliamentarians can unite to strengthen solidarity and women’s representation and leadership in politics, as well as among the general public.   

“While acknowledging that several significant strides have been made in realising women’s empowerment and achieving sustainable development locally, we remain cognizant that more work needs to be done. 

“I hope that more than anything else, Jamaica’s achievements to date will serve as a collective reminder that we need to continue to promote and enact gender-sensitive legislation, policies, programmes, projects and other initiatives in all States throughout the region and beyond.”