Connect with us

Caribbean News

Jamaican Gov’t partners with UWI for Sexual Harassment research

Published

on

#KINGSTON, March 5, 2020 (JIS): The Government will be partnering with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Open Campus, over the next three years, to provide training and research on sexual harassment in the workplace and related matters.

Specifically, the collaboration is between the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute.

The partnership will see the Institute providing special training through seminars, lectures and workshops coordinated by the Bureau. Training will cover the areas of sexual harassment, workplace bullying, emotional intelligence, labour laws, grievance handling and good industrial relations practices.

 Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise this partnership during a ceremony at the UWI Regional Headquarters on February 28.

The emphasis will be on providing support to combat the stigma of sexual harassment through research and the areas of training identified. It is expected to contribute to an appreciation among public sector workers of the importance of promoting an environment free of sexual harassment, in which all categories of workers are treated with respect and dignity.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who participated in the signing, said the MOU has been entered into at an opportune time, in light of “the increasing incidents of violence and abuse of our women.”

Advertisement

She noted that through the MoU, the intent is to explore the impact on productivity of sexual harassment and the implications for workplace competitiveness.

“We would also want to examine the link between sexual harassment and the society; the existing and potential costs in legal related terms; the cost associated with the re-orientation of victims back into the society; the loss of skilled workers; and the psychologically-related costs that are often associated with these abuses,” she said.

She pointed out that the Ministry’s collaboration with the UWI Open Campus will assist in defining the scope of the research agenda, “and to better prepare us for the challenges in combatting sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Ms. Grange said an important benefit from this collaboration is in the area of training, which will focus on prevention of sexual harassment.

Advertisement

“In that regard, we must create a vision of a new Jamaica where respect, tolerance and dignity and a high self-esteem are seen as the norm for workplace behaviours, and that organisations take the time and make the effort to offer mentorship and specialised training for persons who have been socialised to show disrespect for women,” she said.

In her remarks, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, said through ongoing training, the Institute has been working to address the issue of sexual harassment.

“Over the last year or two, the Institute has been at the forefront of training and sensitisation in over 30 orgnisations in Jamaica and the region in both the public and private sectors and they have dealt with not only sexual harassment, but also workplace bullying, and in guiding policy development and implementation in the workforce,” she said.

Dr.  Longsworth argued that knowing what is happening in the workplace is important to ensuring the improvement of labour relations in Jamaica.

She noted that Jamaica’s “own culturally nuanced approach to gender interactions in the workplace needs to be explored. They need to be scrutinised and most importantly, they need to be researched in order to guide our policy development.”

“We know that there is a dearth of that type of research in the Caribbean which will guide policy and practice is some of our major industries,” she said.

Advertisment

 She noted for instance, that research needs to be done on the local hospitality industry, pointing to research from the United Kingdom (UK) which revealed that nine out of every 10 workers in the sector have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

  Dr. Longsworth also pointed to the need to explore the situation of domestic workers as well as call centre employees. 

She said that sexual harassment is not only about human rights and social justice, but it makes good business sense for organisations to invest in eliminating sexual harassment, citing research in the United States (US) which has shown that the effects of sexual harassment on productivity and health, as well as the cost of litigation, can go up to US$22,000 per employee in the company that is affected.

JIS NEWS by ALECIA SMITH

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

All Members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
  • Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
  • Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
  • Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
  • Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
  • Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
  • Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
  • Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
  • Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
  • Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
  • Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
  • Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
  1. Tourism,
  2. Education, and
  3. AG Chambers,
  4. Office of the Deputy Governor, and
  5. Office of the Governor

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

Continue Reading

Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Shipyard Project Launched

Published

on

#Kingston, Jamaica, January 23, 2023 – Economic opportunities are expected to abound for Jamaica, through the establishment of a multibillion-dollar ship repair and maintenance facility in the country.

Called the German Ship Repair Jamaica (GSRJ) Shipyard, the project will provide dry docking (lifting the ship out of the water) for commercial vessels up to 20,000 tons, and a range of maintenance and repair services to vessels operating in and around the Caribbean and Central America.

Phase one of the project, which is to be completed by October/November this year, is being undertaken at an overall cost of nearly $6 billion (or US$37 million), with financial partner Sagicor Bank committing to half of this amount as a bank loan. This will see the first floating dry dock, JAM-DOCK 1, becoming operational.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who  delivered the main address at Tuesday’s (January 24) launch at the Kingston Harbour along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway,  said that “this project will earn foreign exchange”.

“It will provide high-quality jobs, and it will contribute greatly to the prosperity of our country,” he added.

Mr. Holness noted that the development will contribute to the positioning of Kingston Harbour as a global logistics hub, pointing out that each year, Jamaica receives approximately 3,000 port calls while approximately 180,000 vessels operate within the region.

“With the investments that are being made in improving Kingston as a logistic hub, we are certain that we have now closed one of the major gaps that have existed and that more ships passing through the region will be inclined to come to Jamaica,” he said.

For his part, GSRJ Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colonel Martin Rickman, said that the project “represents a new industry for Jamaica with great opportunities for other spin-off businesses, hence even contributing more to the economy”.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s “excellent geo-strategic location” makes the country particularly suitable for having a shipyard.

Detailing the specific operations of the facility, Colonel Rickman explained that “we here at GSRJ Shipyard will be able to lift that ship out of the water to conduct many types of work on the hull, the propeller, engine repairs and the entire nine yards, so this is significant for us”.

By international maritime law, all ships are required to be dry-docked to check for safety and integrity once every five years and attain class certification.

The CEO said that the training component of the project is crucial to enable  workers to meet the international standards to carry out the required operations.

He informed that some persons have already been trained.

In his remarks, President and CEO of Sagicor Group, Christopher Zacca, said that as lead arranger, the organisation is “confident that this new development will make a significant impact on the country’s shipping industry while also contributing to our productive economy”.

“We want all Jamaicans to share the vision of the stakeholders; this is a big deal for Jamaica and we want Kingston to have the leading ship repair and servicing port in the Caribbean,” Mr. Zacca said.

The GSRJ’s partners include Harren and Partner Group, Germany; Kingston Holding, Jamaica; Kloska Group, Germany and HAT-SAN Shipyard, Turkey.

Government agencies involved in the project are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the National Land Agency (NLA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Attorney General’s Department, and others.

Several private-sector entities are also involved in making the project a reality.

The GSRJ started business in Jamaica in 2016 with the intention to build a ship-repair facility at the Kingston Harbour to boost employment and introduce the country to viable economic activities in the shipping and maritime industry.

 

Contact:  Mickella Anderson

Release: JIS

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Statement From The Ministry  of Foreign Affairs – On Order  For All Bahamians  To Leave Haiti

Published

on

#TheBahamas, January 26, 2023 – The Prime Minister  has ordered an immediate involuntary  departure from Haiti  of all diplomatic  personnel or as soon as security conditions  permit.Up to this time, there was a voluntary departure order in place and all staff at the embassy  chose to stay.  Per the new instructions, they are to leave for home as soon as conditions  permit.  This is only a temporary  measure in light of recent developments  which require a corporate  security and intelligence  assessment  and restaging.This morning  the Chargè  reported that they had been stopped by Haitian police and relieved of their vehicle and weapons. This is part of a protest by the Haitian National Police against  their own authorities.All of our diplomats are personally  safe.There also is a report  of 5 Bahamians from Bahamasair who landed at Port Au Prince Airport who were unable to leave the environs of the airport.  They are all safe and well.  The security situation  appears less stable over the past three days in the country, and we are taking steps out of an abundance  of caution.The pattern of security concerns is one of ebb and flow and these withdrawals are sometimes  necessary  to regroup.  The Security Forces  in our country have been alerted to these developments.  As soon as conditions  permit a team will be sent back into Haiti without further announcement.PLQ
Courtesy of BIS

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING