Specifically, sexual harassment is not recognized on the books in Jamaica. Given the call for a statute to be introduced to protect citizens, a Sexual Harrassment Bill is now being reviewed by a joint select committee in the House of Parliament. The bill outlines the types of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, while prohibiting certain related conducts. It also makes provisions for the complaints to be filed by persons who’ve been victims of various degrees of harassment. Committee chair Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says it’s long overdue. “We need to put money into a public education programme to change attitudes and to change the culture,” she says. “We have to invest in making people more aware and to sensitize the public [about certain behaviours that] need adjusting.”
FORWARD IN FAITH: Are we ready for the Jamaica Progressive Party?
Shutting down strip clubs, abolishing income tax, raising the minimum wage and resuscitating the national carrier, Air Jamaica, are only a few of the target points being weaved into the developing narrative of the newly formed Jamaica Progressive Party (JPP), a church-based organization headed up by President Gilbert Edwards, a medical technologist by training, and General Secretary Pastor Robert Rainford. By mid-July, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica will decide if the party has been officially approved and stands to become the fourth party registered by the ECJ to contest the General Elections constitutionally due next year. “We have been doing work for four years,” General Secretary Rainford (above) noted in in an interview with the Gleaner, “and we are just now coming out for the public to see who we are and to support us going forward.”
COMING ATTRACTION: New $700-M artisan village to open near Falmouth Pier
As is in answer to the prayers of Trelawney residents who’ve long lamented the absence of a major attraction to serve as a strong foreign-exchange draw for Falmouth and its environs, the tourism ministry just announced the impending opening of an artisan village in the resort town – in the vicinity of the Falmouth Pier. Per Minister Ed Bartlett, the official opening of the village, constructed to the tune of $700 million, will hopefully coincide with the return of cruise ships to Falmouth later this year. “A few final details surrounding electricity are to be completed,” the minister points out, “separate from that, the village is ready. One hundred and seventy-five persons have been trained to offer [a] unique experience to Jamaicans and visitors alike.”