FRUSTRATING legal issues that women have taken into 2019
effectively quieting the issue for 2018. The Human Resource and Social Development Committee have, however, since invited public comments and views on the issue on the Parliament’s website, as they are now reviewing Flynn’s motion.
No law against sexual harassment
Grange, disclosed that the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill was being finalised by the Government, and would have been brought before the House of Representatives soon, and tabled by the end of last year. We hope that, for the sake of the most vulnerable, it will be made into law soon.
Sexual Offences Act still to be updated
Offences Act, which contends that rape could not occur within the context of a marriage, unless conditions set out in the provision were met. But even with this recommendation, among others, it will still be some time before this will be translated into enforceable law.
Divorces still taking too long to be granted
Following news in 2017 that persons were going as far as purchasing bogus divorce documents because legitimate papers were taking too long to be processed, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes pledged that the backlog at the Supreme Court will be cleared by the end of
2019. He stated that a divorce could be granted in as soon as 16 weeks, as long as the documents are submitted without errors by the attorneys. According to the Chief Justice’s report that was tabled in Parliament last November, however, for every 100 petitions for dissolution of marriage there were approximately 51 amended petitions. This means that over half of submitted applications for divorce are returned for correction at least once; lengthening the time it takes for the divorce to be granted.
WHILE 2018 was a year which saw moves being made on behalf of Jamaican women, there are still some legal and other frustrations which continue to stymie women’s development. Some of these have been on and off the books for years with no real action; others are sluggishly moving through the system, and others haven’t seen the light of day, as some women’s issues aren’t seen as priority by lawmakers.