Fri | Aug 18, 2017

New study raises serious concerns for women's group

Published:Monday | August 1, 2016 | 8:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Engrossed in conversation at the launch of the 'Building a Women's Political Constituency' project are (from left) Latoya Nugent, Joan Grant Cummings, Nikeisha Sewell Lewis and Judith Wedderburn. The launch was held at Medallion Hall Hotel last Thursday.

There continues to be an urgent call for women's issues to be prioritised in the dialog surrounding development, as results from a new study revealed only three of 130 boards assessed, were led by women.

Speaking during the launch of a project titled 'Building a Women's Political Constituency', Joan Grant Cummings, a member of the '51% Coalition', said the ongoing analysis taking place since 2008 and up to June 2016, is a reflection of what exists in the private and public sector. She indicated that there was a special focus on government ministries, which revealed that more work is needed in achieving equality.

"(There were) three major ministries that we looked at. Finance, there were nine boards and none of them had females chairing. There was the ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Telecommunication, (and) of the 10 boards reviewed or that we know about, none of them had women as chairs," she declared.

She continued, "In tourism, where many women work, (there are) five boards and none of them had females as heads."

Cummings argued that there must be a balance in areas of employment and education if the country is to see real development.

"These are issues that I think are pertinent to us as women. Energy, science, technology and telecommunications are areas which involve issues that we (women) have to deal with every day," she said.

"The private sector disturbs us. Over the years, we see the same trends. Only three of 47 boards are lead by women and these are listed companies. It is actually quite unacceptable."

She added, "Only two companies since 2008 have actually taken steps to grow women's inclusion on the boards, and that's JMMB and Jamaica Producers. It's not that there are not enough women. We have competent women."

Professor Rosalea Hamilton, project director of Fi Wi Jamaica project and vice-president of community service and development at the University of Technology, in commenting on the issue, noted that while governments have made strides in including women in leadership roles, there should be a renewed focus on making women the centre of development.

"I'm encouraged by efforts being made and I think we are better than 10, 15 years ago. Clearly, we have further to go. The data shared today (Thursday) about the inequality on the boards ought to be addressed," she said.Jodi-Ann Gilpin

There continues to be an urgent call for women's issues to be prioritised as a top issue of development, as results from a new study revealed only three of 130 boards assessed, were led by women.

Speaking during the launch of a project titled 'Building a Women's Political Constituency' Joan Grant Cummings, a member of the 51 per cent Coalition, said the ongoing analysis taking place since 2008 and up to June, is a reflection of what exists in the private and public sector. She indicated that there was a special focus on government ministries, which revealed that more work is needed in achieving equality.

"(There were) three major ministries that we looked at. Finance, there were nine boards and none of them had females chairing. There was the ministry of Science, Energy, Technology and Telecommunication (and) of the 10 boards reviewed or that we know about, none of them had women as chairs," she declared.

She continued, "In tourism, where many women work, (there are) five boards and none of them had females as heads."

Cummings argued that there must be a balance in areas of employment and education if the country is to see real development.

"These are issues that I think are pertinent to us as women. Energy, science technology and telecommunications are areas which involve issues that we (women) have to deal with everyday," she said.

"The private sector disturbs us. Over the years we see the same trends. Only three of 47 boards are lead by women and these are listed companies. It is actually quite unacceptable."

She added, "Only two companies since 2008 have actually taken steps to grow women's inclusion on the boards and that's JMMB and Jamaica Producers. It's not that there are not enough women. We have competent women."

Professor Rosalea Hamilton project director of Fi Wi Jamaica project and vice-president of community service and development at the University of Technology, in commenting on the issue, noted that while governments have made strides in including women in leadership roles, there should be a renewed focus on making women the centre of development.

"I'm encouraged by efforts being made and I think we are better than 10, 15 years ago. Clearly we have further to go. The data shared today (Thursday) about the inequality on the boards ought to be addressed," she said.