Grenada Spotlight legal reform agenda targets sexual harassment
Making sexual harassment unlawful must be an immediate priority as part of sweeping legal reforms currently taking place in the country, according to the Grenada Spotlight Initiative.
At the moment, no sexual harassment law has been passed in Grenada, but there are significant developments in the pipeline and Spotlight is helping to spearhead change. For example, a national Bill (The IMPACT Justice Sexual Harassment Legislation Committee) is before the Government for consideration. This resonates with Model CARICOM legislation on sexual harassment.
Under Grenada Spotlight, the legal team of drafters and stakeholders are considering recommendations to:
- Review and have tabled the (Draft Model Sexual Harassment Bill)
- Specifically prohibit sexual harassment at the workplace, schools and educational settings with adequate complaint mechanisms and protections from reprisals
- Criminally prohibit non-employment-related sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment is a serious issue. It can blight lives. It needs action. People need to feel safe wherever they are and that they have the protection of the law from sexual predators”
The move for change is gathering momentum. This follows earlier work where a draft Sexual Harassment Bill commissioned by the Grenada National Organization of Women (GNOW) was submitted for government review. This draft sexual harassment is defined as: “the unwanted or unwelcomed physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex, which is offensive to the person being harassed.”
Elsewhere in the region, the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago have all taken steps to make sexual harassment a criminal offence. Now, according to Spotlight, it’s Grenada’s turn.
Further notes on Spotlight Initiative
The European Union partnering with the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative to secure political commitments and catalyse global actions aimed at eliminating violence against women worldwide. The initiative currently operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific, providing funding, capacity and connection building, programmatic support and other forms of assistance towards its purpose of eliminating VAWG.
The Grenada Spotlight Initiative “is designed to focus attention, coordinate human effort, and strategically apply resources to the implementation of a well-conceived comprehensive national programme to contribute to end family violence and all forms of violence against women and in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”. The initiative is organised around six pillars of programming, namely: (1) ‘Legislative and Policy Frameworks’, (2) ‘Strengthening Institutions’, (3) Prevention and Social Norms, (4) ‘Delivery of High Quality, Essential Services (5) Data Availability and Capacities’, and (6), ‘Supporting Women’s Movements’.
The proposed legal reforms fall under Pillar 1 – Laws and Policies and addresses the legislative and policy gaps that create an environment of impunity as it relates to violence against women and girls. This focus is the context of “the current challenges with effective implementation of several … laws and policies and the ability to translate them into meaningful impact in the lives of the intended beneficiaries,” as noted in the Spotlight Programme Report (2019).