Legal Framework and Institutional Mechanisms
Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Ratification in 1984. Main reference document for equality between men and women. Through its ratification or accession to it the States are legally bound to adopt all necessary measures, including special temporary measures and laws, in order for women to fully enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). The signatory countries take responsibility for the implementation of the Platform for Action, in which 12 critical areas of concern for the advancement of women are defined.
Constitution of Jamaica and amendments (1962). Acknowledges rights and freedoms of the individual, such as the right to equality before the law no matter sex, race, and place of origin, social class, colour or political opinions.
Bureau of Gender Affairs (2016). It is the state agency and national machinery for women's empowerment and an advocate for gender issues.
Gender Advisory Council (2005). It is a multi-sectoral body charged with guiding the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Policy for Gender Equality in conjunction with the Bureau of Gender Affairs.
The Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan (2009). It includes a Gender Sector Plan which acknowledges gender as a cross-cutting issue for all national development initiatives.
National Policy for Gender Equality (2011). It aims to shift national policy-making and implementation from a gender neutral position which presumes gender equality and equity, to a gender aware position which acknowledges that barriers exists which prevent equal access and thus creates inequality.
The employment (equal pay for men and women) Act (1995). This Act describes the rights of men and women at work, especially about equal pay.
Personal and labor conciliation
Maternity leave Act (1999). The period formaternity leave shall not exceed 12 weeks in respect of each pregnancy or confinement. The weekly maternity pay is payable at a rate equal to the normal wages earned in respect of the last normal working week. (100%).No paternity leave.
Violence due to gender
The Sexual Offences Act (2009). It has new provisions dealing with rape and other sexual offences. It also provides for the establishment of a Sex Offender Registry.
The Domestic Violence Act (amended 2004). Provides for enhanced protection for victims of domestic violence and abuse and applies to both spouses and de facto (common law) spouses.