Leave us alone! ...Women cry harassment at parties

April 09, 2016
File Joyce Hewett to be honoured for her work for the advancement of the rights of women and girls.
A scene from a carnival road parade.

Many female party goers have been complaining of harassment whenever they attend entertainment events skimpily dressed.

Some of these women say men have made a habit of forcing themselves onto them, demanding dances, and in many instances threats are issued whenever the advances from the men are turned down.

Social commentators Joyce Hewett and Lana Finikin said the issue of some women feeling harassed is a reminder of the attitude of entitlement by Jamaican men.

Woman Incorporated coordinator Hewett said Jamaica's culture perpetuates the entitlement to women's bodies that females encounter on a daily basis.

"The cultural acceptance that women are not the ones who should make decisions about their bodies is what causes men to approach men in an aggressive manner," she said.


The prohibition of abortion in Jamaica was used by Hewett as an example of Jamaican women not having control over their bodies.

"Women have limited rights in Jamaica, and that's why a man will think they can dance on a woman and believe they should get approval," explained the former president of Woman Inc.

Director of Sistren Theatre Collective Lana Finikin, said that because Jamaica is a patriarchal society, it is not uncommon for women to feel sexually harassed while carrying out their daily activities.

"It has become a part of our DNA for men to think that they have a right to own us, and so they believe they should treat us any way.

Hewett also addressed the common sentiment that women who dress skimpily are asking to be danced with by men.

"A woman choosing to dress revealing is her right, she is not asking to be harassed, leave her alone!"

Both women are calling for the Sexual Harassment Bill that was tabled in the House of Representatives by then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to be speedily passed into law.

"We will be pushing for this new Government to review the Sexual Offences Act 2009 and push for it come back to the table," Hewett told THE STAR.

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