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Case study recommends parties promote equality for women in political process

Published:Wednesday | March 9, 2016 | 1:20 PM
In this file photo Marlene Malahoo Forte (Opposition Senator at the time) reacts after being suspended from the Senate.

A new case study is recommending that political parties actively promote equal representation and participation of women in their leading bodies to enable women to contribute meaningfully to the political processes.

The study titled 'Where are the Women? A study of Women, Politics, Parliaments and Equality in the CARICOM Countries', was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), yesterday.


Debbie-Ann Wright has more in this report.

The report notes that an earlier study done by the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership and the United Nations Women found that political parties often indulge in gender equality rhetoric while shirking active commitment to the issue.

It says this is usually reflected in their leadership and decision-making structures.

The study says in the Jamaican case, both leading parties appear to follow this same trend and that while both parties have women’s arms, male dominance is prevalent.

The UNDP study also says a lack of transparency also contributes to this assumption.

The study says additional evidence of a lack of commitment to gender equality can be found in available data of the People’s National Party, which shows that despite the majority of party members being women all major decision-making arms of the party are overwhelmingly populated with men.

The study say researchers were denied access by the Jamaica Labour Party leader for a review of the gender dynamics within the party conducted after its defeat in the 2011 general elections.

The study recommends that parties consider and pursue mechanisms to recruit, train, and finance women to be candidates for public office.