GLOBAL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2000 International Development Options

                                                                                               All Rights Reserved

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Volume Two                                                                      Winter 1999-Spring 2000                                                            Numbers 1-2.

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                             THEME: CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: ISSUES AND OPTIONS

       PROSPECTS FOR GENDER EQUITY IN CARIBBEAN POLITICS: THE CASE OF JAMAICA

       Carlene J. Edie

      Department of Political Science

      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

      Amherst, MA 01003

      Published Online: December 15, 2016

 

      ABSTRACT

 

Despite high levels of participation at the constituency level, Caribbean women have been under-represented in the top echelons of the hierarchy of political parties in the region.  A host of cultural, social, political, and economic factors combine to exclude women from the highest levels of power within the politi­cal arena.  This case study of Party Leader selection in Jamaica in 1992 shows that: (a) an unwritten cultural bias exists in the society which makes it impossible for a woman to become Party Leader and Prime Minister; (b) the gender-biased structure of the PNP excluded women from the top echelons of the party hierarchy, making it impossible for them to have the qualifications and experience necessary for party leadership; (c) the structure of the People's National Party (PNP) excludes the party rank-and-file from the process of selecting the Party Leader, giving a male-dominated group of delegates the sole responsibility of choosing the Party Leader.  The case study is an example of a regional and global problem of gender inequity in politics.  This problem should be seriously addressed if democracy is to become a working concept in Jamaica and the Caribbean in the twenty-first century.

 

 

      

 

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