Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Gender equality in labour still a work in progress

THE head of the Gender Equality and Diversity Branch of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Jane Hodges, says she is pleased with the progress the Caribbean has made to date in terms of levelling the playing field for women and men, but she admits that there is still more work to be done.

“I am always genuinely bowled over by the strength of Caribbean women. The women here are particularly good role models, and I would say the legislation here, like in many countries of the world, has really improved in the last two decades.

“However, we still have countries that have old laws, outdated laws in many areas, not just gender.

“There have been parliaments coming, parliament going and tourism laws are changing, other laws are changing, but it is about time that labour laws are sorted out,” she said during an interview with The Grenada Advocate.

To that end, Hodges said that efforts are being made at the level of the ILO Sub Regional Office, based in Trinidad and Tobago, to address that reality. She explained that the Office has been working with the respective countries to examine the necessary pieces of legislation with the view of updating them and bringing them in line with international standards.

“Nevertheless, there are some good positives, from the point of view that I work all over the world, and some cultures I see are really a challenge. Some cultures you think are amazing and then you see the disrespect toward women.

“The Caribbean has made many strides, but this masculinity, which maybe has its manifestation in unequal pay, and some of the gender-based violence we witness, is perhaps where we need to work most on in this region,” she stated.

Her comments came as she suggested that there are some deeply embedded cultural or social ideas in this region, which will have to be stamped out if gender equality is to truly take root in the countries of the Caribbean. (JRT)

No comments:

Post a Comment