FRUS­TRAT­ING le­gal is­sues that women have taken into 2019

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - ALL WOMEN - BY CANDIECE KNIGHT

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.

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