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Abstract

Within the context of gender inequality that pertains to the Caribbean region generally, this study examines and analyzes two surveys on sexual harassment in Jamaica. The first survey was conducted in June/July 1999 by the Committee against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace, intended to solicit information from public sector employees on their perception and opinions on sexual harassment at work place. The second survey was conducted among 44 organization in Jamaica during the month of January 2005 by the author, in association with the Bureau of Women’s Affairs of the Government of Jamaica, intended to attain three objectives: to ascertain whether or not these organizations had a policy, code or committee to deal with sexual harassment; to establish the practices or policies used to address sexual harassment in these organisations; and to measure the level of support for enactment of a legislation on sexual harassment in Jamaican organisations. Despite some basic differences, the main findings from both surveys were comparable. First, in both surveys, respondents had the same general definitions of sexual harassment. Second, both surveys suggested that any law enacted on sexual harassment should protect both men and women. Third, both surveys indicated that punishment was essential in serving as deterrence to sexual harassment. Finally, both surveys were in favour of legislation that would address sexual harassment expressly.

Note on the Author

Jimmy Kazaara Tindigarukayo is a Senior Lecturer at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica. He teaches Research Methods in Social Sciences to graduate students of the institute, and has published books and several articles on a variety of research areas, including gender, informal settlements (squatters), local government and public sector reforms.

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