Gov’t committed to gender equality - Grange
Minister with responsibility for gender affairs Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has committed the Government to ensuring that Jamaican women and girls are given the fair chance to develop and advance in the society as entrepreneurs.
Making a presentation in Parliament yesterday to mark International Women's Day, Grange argued that there was increasing recognition that women entrepreneurs were the new engines for inclusive and sustainable industrial growth and were the rising stars of economies in developing countries.
"In 2012, the World Economic Forum identified women entrepreneurs as 'the way forward', yet despite this, women entrepreneurs still struggle to take their rightful place in economic life," said Grange.
"Even though more and more women are starting businesses globally, they still manage fewer businesses than men and run businesses that are in less profitable sectors, that grow more slowly, and are, ultimately, more likely to fail," added Grange.
She argued that when women do not participate equally in entrepreneurship, Jamaica's economy loses the benefits that would otherwise be provided by new products and services, additional revenues, and new jobs.
"There is also the failure to progress due to long-term negative effects on workforce skills and education, which occurs when half of the potential pool of labour is not developed.
"The clear consequences of women's economic marginalisation further emphasise the pressing need for gender equality and the reinforcement of economic empowerment for our women and girls," said Grange.
She noted that Jamaica has signed on to international frameworks that seek to promote and reinforce gender equality in our society and argued that it was the responsibility of the Government to stand by the commitments made.