Two additional shelters for abused women are to be established during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said approximately $86 million has been allocated in the Budget to purchase property to house the facilities.
They will bring to three, the number of national women’s shelters across the island, with one in each county.
“Last year, we got funds to purchase a national shelter to assist women who have been abused. Our aim, ultimately, is to have a shelter in each parish, but this has been a major achievement for us,” she said.
Grange was attending an International Women’s Day Breakfast hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston on Friday.
She noted that the Government is placing greater focus on gender issues and has increased funding to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the ministry’s gender portfolio.
“We have had an over 100 per cent increase, so we will be able to provide more funding for these entities and expand our programme in serving the mandate, which we have, through the Bureau of Gender Affairs, that relates to gender equality and women’s empowerment,” she said.
Grange noted that the Government is equally committed to providing assistance to males.
“We are not ignoring the fact that we have to address the issues that affect our men, particularly our young men. We will, at a future date, roll out the kind of information and programmes we know will assist in the area of assisting our men,” she said.
The International Women’s Day event, under the theme ‘Breaking Through to Next-Level Gender Equality in the Jamaican Workplace’, involved partnership with the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.
It featured presentations from several leading private-sector firms participating in the UNDP’s globally recognised Gender Equality Seal certification programme for private- and public-sector enterprises, which was launched in Jamaica in 2017.