The government of Jamaica 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, 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, labor laws, grievance handling and good industrial relations practices.
Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize this partnership during a ceremony at the UWI Regional Headquarters on Feb. 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.
Olivia Grange, minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, participated in the signing and said the MOU has been entered into at an opportune time, in light of “the increasing incidents of violence and abuse of our women.”
She noted that through the MoU, the intent is to explore the impact on productivity of sexual harassment and the implications for workplace competitiveness.