Sandrea Falconer, the minister with responsibility for gender affairs, in a statement in the Senate on Friday, said that women have broken the glass ceiling in politics but there is need for more to be involved in the process.
"We have elected a female prime minister, which means that we have broken the glass ceiling at the highest level of political leadership," Falconer said.
Falconer, however, said the number of women in the Senate is too low. Of the 21 members in the Senate, there are three women on the government side - Falconer, Angela Brown Burke and Imani Duncan Price - and two women on the opposition side - Kamina Johnson Smith and Marlene Malahoo Forte.
Meanwhile, Falconer noted that 12.5 per cent of the seats in the House of Representatives are filled by women, although in the 2011 general election, 35 per cent of the seats were contested by women.
First Female Prime Minister
According to Falconer, while there is more to be done in to empower women, the country has made great strides in its 50 years of Independence.
She pointed to Portia Simpson Miller becoming the country's first female prime minister, and Lorna Myers, the co-founder of Restaurants of Jamaica being inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Hall of Fame, as examples of the strides made by women.
She also noted that 28.6 per cent of the country's mayors are women, and 56 per cent of its permanent secretaries.
At the same time, women occupy key positions such as those of the auditor general, chief justice, director of public prosecutions and solicitor general.
"I am in no way saying that we are where we want to be, but the truth is 50 years ago this was not the case. A woman's place was in the home, most time barefoot and pregant," Falconer said.
Meanwhile, the Gender Affairs Committee of Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, has called for more young women to enter the political arena.
"For too long, women have shied away from political representation, with the United Nations Women in Politics Report 2012 noting that women only account for 19.5 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide," Tova Hamilton, vice-president of G2K with responsibility for gender affairs, said.
The organisation's president, Floyd Green, said that while progress has been made with regards to the involvement of women in politics, more needs to be done.
"As momentum is gained, it is my hope that more young ladies will dedicate themselves to political service, so that one day we will have a parliament with greater gender equality," Green said.