The Government is making every effort to reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in Jamaica, especially among women and girls.
A 10-year National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate GBV in Jamaica (2017-2027) was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to prevent violence, protect and deliver adequate services to victims and deal appropriately with perpetrators.
Additionally, a public education campaign, titled, ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ was developed to take anti-violence messages to communities across the country.
Bureau of Gender Affairs
• Memorandum of Understanding signed with the UN Women Multi-Country Office of the Caribbean to support the Plan’s implementation.
• The Government acquired property outside Kingston, for use as a shelter for women who need to leave abusive environments.
• MoU signed to address challenges facing women in business and to strengthen collaboration in developing programmes to encourage entrepreneurship among females.
• The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport developed an initiative dubbed, ‘A-STREAM’ (Advancing Secondary, Tertiary, Remedial Education for Adolescent Mothers). A-STREAM, which is administered through the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, targets teenaged mothers at risk of dropping out of school. Under the programme, 40 adolescent mothers are paired with 40 mentors who encourage them to complete their education and assist them with critical life skills.
• Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, launched an economic opportunity training programme in the maroon community of Accompong, St. Elizabeth. Residents are able to access grants totalling $1 million from the Ministry to start businesses.
• A draft Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill was amended and resubmitted to Cabinet. The document now reflects recommen-dations regarding the establishment of a Sexual Harassment Tribunal to preside over sexual harass- ment matters, and the designation of Field Officers from the Bureau of Gender Affairs as Authorised Officers. This revision will be submitted to the Legislative Committee for consideration ahead of final approval.
• The Special Service Desk for Men conducted seven sensitisation and awareness-raising sessions reaching 309 men and boys. Issues dealt with included Toxic Masculinities, Health and Employment.
• The Ministry conducted economic opportunity workshops and entrepreneurial training among other support interventions to enable communities to take advantage of the opportunities from World Heritage Designation of certain sites.