Sexual harassment bill modified to reflect current realities
Acting Senior Director of Policy and Research at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Robinson, says the sexual harassment bill has been modified to reflect current realities.
Robinson argued that with the #metoo movement and other campaigns that shine a light on sexual harassment there is more expectation, and so, the bill has to match the contextual reality and what is happening on the local, regional and international scene.
She was representing Minister of Gender, Olivia Grange, at the Parl Americas Inter-Parliamentary workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last week Thursday.
The sexual harassment legislation was taken off the parliamentary agenda with the calling of a General Election in February 2016.
Giving an update on the bill last year, Grange indicated that the draft was sent to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel where some amendments were made, and it is now to go before the Legislative Committee of Cabinet.
She said the amended bill, once approved by Cabinet, will be brought back to Parliament.
She said the legislation will seek to protect persons from unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and crude sexual behaviours that affect quality of life by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Meanwhile, she said while sexual harassment is gender-neutral, the research shows that women are the primary victims.
She noted, however, that in recent times, more men are reporting cases of sexual harassment.