Adam: Gender bill ‘necessary’

| 28/07/2011

(CNS): Despite objections by the Chamber of Commerce and the Law Society, the Ministry of Community, Gender Affairs and Housing (CA&H) maintains that the Gender Equality Bill, which it will present during the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly, will pave the way for the Cayman Islands to join the 187 countries around the world that have ratified the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In response to objections by the Chamber, Minister Mike Adam has said that the spirit of the law was to promote non-discriminatory practices, rather than to impose any kind of hiring quotas on businesses, and business owners just have to ensure they do not discriminate.  

A cornerstone of CEDAW is the principle of equality between men and women and as such, it mandates the prohibition of discrimination of the rights of men and women as a step towards equality.

The ministry explained in a release Thursday that the Bill will provide protection from gender discrimination in employment, training, and hiring for both sexes. It also prohibits discrimination on the grounds of marital status and pregnancy. Other provisions stipulate equal pay for equal work, categorise sexual harassment as discrimination, andprovide for equal treatment in related matters such as the provision of goods, services, and facilities.

Minister Mike Adam said officials had noticed that the term ‘gender’ is often incorrectly assumed to mean women, or to reference only women’s issues. Therefore they believed it was important to ensure that protections in the law extended to both men and women.

“For this reason the bill defines gender as ‘the cultural, economic, social and political characteristics, roles and opportunities through which women and men are socially constructed and valued’. It is undeniable that discrimination against women is a feature of the modern Caymanian workplace,” the Minister continued. “Less noted is the kind of discrimination that men face, as an example in terms of the kinds of jobs and other employment opportunities for which they may be considered, or inequitable treatment based upon their marital status.

“Our objective with this Bill is to address and redress the inequalities that so many women face, but also to ensure that in the future there are equal opportunities for our sons, as well as our daughters.”  

He further noted that in 2008 the National Assessment of Living Conditions (NALC) found that women were overrepresented among the poor and underemployed and called for an end to strict classification of jobs by sex.

While the Bill extends to all Cayman Islands employers, including government, it does provide various exemptions for private households, private educational authorities, charities, and religious bodies. It also specifically prohibits discrimination by professional partnerships, employment agencies, training agencies and qualifying or accrediting bodies.

Last week the Chamber of Commerce claimed that the bill was too onerous for business, and together with the Law Society, called on government to withdraw the bill so that amendments could be made to it before it becomes law. The Chamber has said it wants to see the law revised to make it more practical, easier and less costly for employers to implement.

However, Minister Adam explained that the spirit of the law was to promote non-discriminatory practices that lead to equality, rather than to impose any kind of hiring quotas on businesses. Since there is virtually nothing that businesses have to do other than ensure they do not discriminate, there really are no compliance costs.    

Stating that there was also a strong business case for promoting gender equality and diversity in the workplace, he noted that international research showed that companies, and, by extension, wider economies that have a higher percentage of women in the workforce, and as senior decision makers, are more productive and more profitable.

“Ithas been said many times here that Cayman must compete with the wider world, both for business and for its workforce. My ministry strongly believes that if we are viewed as a jurisdiction that is actively striving towards gender equality, then this law will assist in enhancing our image as an attractive place to work and do business,” he explained. “At the same time, we are aware that it entails a new way of thinking and doing business. As such we are committed to carrying out a wide-ranging public education campaign to ensure that businesses and the public are ready for the new law before it comes into effect.”

The minister adds that an article on the Cayman Islands’ diverse workforce in the most recent Chamber magazine asserts that although the country has a history of prominent women in the workplace, the new legislation will encourage gender diversity, by giving men and women equal opportunities, in all but a few jobs. In addition the publication recognises that diversity in work and social environments is essential to enhancing local quality of life.

“My staff and I have been particularly encouraged to note that the civil society organizations and NGOs that have been commenting on the law in the media concur that gender equality legislation is necessary. “We look forward to working with these groups over the next several months to ensure that the spirit of this law – which we all agree is so important – realizes its full potential during the implementation process,” Adam concluded.

CEDAW is the only core international human rights treaty still to be signed by the Cayman Islands. As such, the United Kingdom, in keeping with its commitment to modernize governance in its Overseas Territories, has for some time actively encouraged the country to adopt the convention.  

The proposed Gender Equality Bill will also further cement the provisions against discrimination contained in the Cayman Islands Bill of Rights which is scheduled to come into effect in November 2012.

Category: Politics

Comments (92)

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  1. Michel says:

    Thank you Mr.Adams for this bill. I applaud you Sir. It's long overdue and we know how capable and educated many ladies are. As we say a womens job is also never, When I was in management I was always amazed that some single mothers with 2 children. They had to get up early, get the kids ready, fed. dropped off at school with snacks and get earlier to work then some guys( who had a rough drinking night) and after work the reversed happens day after day after day. I do believe that renumeration should be based on exp. educ. etc. but you never really know of what one is capable until you have seen them in action and that's part of the problem. We often assumed that the man could do better until you realise one day how much more a different gender work performance is greater it is THEN. HR's Don't judge a book by it's cover nor believe everything you read. Follow up on past employers for resumes and not on recommendation letter because they are usually wriitten by friends. Sounds familiar ? And I mean absolutly no disrespect to any of all male genders as I will defend you if needed. God Bless. Michel Lemay

  2. A none E:mouse says:

    Mike Adam for premier!

  3. Anonymous says:

    And why wasn't this just taken care of in the new constitution? Oh, right, I forgot. It's because we let preachers and hollow-headed politicians write it.

     

    Hey, ain't it funny how religion always pleads for exemptions to basic human rights legislation?

     

    "No discrimantion? Oh the horror! We can't possibly run our church without discrimination!"

     

    The person who argued in this thread that Christianity teaches that women and men are seperate but equal needs to read the Bible. The Bible includes clear instructions on how good men sould sell women, beat them, keep them quiet and treat them as property.

    Christianity is the most devestating thing to ever happen to women in history. The Koran is a close second.

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Discrimination laws are controversial.  I don't believe it should be observed as a government enforced right.

      You continue to show your ignorance of the bible by using examples from the old testament to critisize Christianity.  Thats the part shared(somewhat) by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. You forgot to criticize the Jewish religion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I read in the New Testament that Jesus said he came to uphold the old laws and not to change a single one.

        I also could have sworn that I read some real nasty anti-woman stuff in the New Testament. You might want to reread Paul. I think he mentions something about women having to shutup and let men do all the talking, for example.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an angry, bitter, misguided person you are. First, the Constitution does provide against discrimination on the basis of gender etc. Second, does not teach that women are property and may be sold. It teaches that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies and even give up their lives for them. Christianity significantly improved the lot of women in the ancient world. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that Islam advocates better treatment for women.

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm not angry, bitter or misguided. Well, okay, maybe I am a bit angry about women being treated like property at worst and inferior humans at best, all in the name of religion.

        Clearly you need to read the CI constitution and the Bible again (or for the first time). The fact is, neither of them is good for women's rights.

        The constitution falls far short of  what it should have gauranteed for women, and the Bible is so bad in so many places (Old and New Testaments) that it's just not worth arguing with anyone who denies it. If you can read that book  and close it thinking that this god and that religion promote fairness for women, then your brain is a lost cause on this issue.

        The only reason I said Islam is a close second to Christianity in the historic abuse of girls and women is because Christianity had a 600 year headstart. Maybe Islam will catch up. They certainly are trying hard to.

         

        Here are a few gems from that great beacon of gender equality, the Bible:

        Genesis:  "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. … Thy husband … shall rule over thee."

        1 Peter: all wives should be "in subjection" to their husbands.

        Wives must submit to their husbands "in every thing" as though they were Christ. "For the husband is the head of the wife."

        Wives, according to Paul, must submit themselves to their husbands

        Women are commanded by Paul to be silent in church and to be obedient to men. He further says that "if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in church."

        "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."

        "A man … is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."

        In Romans 1:27 Paul explains that "the natural use" of women is to act as sexual objects for the pleasure of men

        According to Luke 2:23 Males are holy to God, not females

        I could go on and on but this is boring. If you don't get it by now, you never will.
         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          "Christianity had a 600 year headstart. Maybe Islam will catch up." – You singled out Christians again, and ignored the Jewish religion.

          "I'm not angry, bitter or misguided" you clearly have a chip on your shoulder against the Christian religion, and you take this out by pushing for government enforced gender equality laws.

          "maybe I am a bit angry about women being treated like property at worst and inferior humans at best" – a lot of people were treated like that 2000 years ago.  A time when human sacrific was happening in Europe(Tribal groups), and slaves were forced to battle to death for entertainment.

          • Anonymous says:

            You keep scolding me for not knocking the Jewish religion. Last I checked, Jews weren't the ones bothering people here and working hard to keep the Cayman Islands a backward society. But, okay, I'll say it: they're religion is just as nutty as any other. Happy now?

            In fact, now that I think about it, the Jews do have a lot to answer for because their kooky belief system spawned Christianity and Islam, by far the two greatest obstacles to human progress of all time.

            • Anonymous says:

              I don'tagree with these laws, and I don't see it as a religious matter.
              You want to push these laws because its your way of venting against Christianity.

              You have an obvious bias of your critisizm where you compare religions as worse by being around longer, conveniently forgetting about a religion several thousand years older from which your first points of criticisms originate.

              You only succeed in making this discussion irrational, with nothing to add.  You complain about Christianity keeping back the progress of the Cayman Islands with shallow examples, yet your keeping back the progress on this discussion.

            • Anonymous says:

              "Christianity and Islam, by far the two greatest obstacles to human progress of all time".

              Is that right? Why is it that the societies that have made the greatest advances in human progress all have a Christian base? Why is it that the most backward societies have other religions, such as Hinduism as their base? Why have there been so many groundbreaking Christian scientists and philosophers, e.g Isaac Newton, William of Ockham, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, Michael Faraday, Max Planck, George Lemaitre – to name a few? Whydon't those countries which have embraced atheism represent the pinnacle of human progress if religion is what holds us back?     

        • Anonymous says:

          "The constitution falls far short of  what it should have gauranteed for women".

          The issue is about ***gender equality****, not special rights for women.

          Your problem is that you are very opinionated and you believe should accept your opinion as fact. The Constitution is acceptable by any objective standard, e.g. whether it gives effect to the ECHR.

          I don't have time to go through all of you bible quotes but your use of them only serves to show what a shallow understanding of the Bible you have. However, the misuse of Romans 1:27 is so blatantly ridiculous that I could not let it pass. It takes a truly twisted mind to imagine that this is an explanation that women are to be used by men as sex objects.  It helps if you use a modern translation and free your mind from prejudice. The issue is all about unnatural (homosexual) sexual relations as opposed to natural (heterosexual) sexual relations. NIV translates verses 26 and 27 as follows: "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error". 

          The New Living Translation is even more plain: "That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved".

          Obviously, you are not a credible interpreter of the Bible.

          • Anonymous says:

            Beware softened translations of God's Word! These liberal lies will mislead you and trick you!

            I trust only in the King James Version because it was written in the native tongue of our Lord Jesus Christ.

             

          • Anonymous says:

            to 10: 39,

            I agree with all you said , but go on further please, and quote  how wicked man is, it's not all to do with sex.

            Romans 1: 28-31, Furtherore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the  knowledge of God He gave them over to a de-praved mind, to do what not ought  to be done.

            They have become filled with  every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity, envy,murder,strife,deceit, malice,gossip,slanderers God haters, insolent arrogance, and boastfull, they invent ways of doing evil: they disobay their parents,they are sensless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

            It's all SIN, and it's all around us, and you can't make any laws to stop it, God gave Moses the ten commanment (the law) and the Isrealites still sinned, and God endend up killing most of them before they reached the promis land. 

        • Anonymous says:

          "The only reason I said Islam is a close second to Christianity in the historic abuse of girls and women is because Christianity had a 600 year headstart. Maybe Islam will catch up. They certainly are trying hard to".

          Islam needs to catch up alright but it is in terms of the fair treatment of women. It is Islam which pemits a man to have 4 wives, that requires women's faces to be veiled, and that gives a man the right to physically chastise his wife (falling short of disfiguring her), that permitted girls of minor age (e.g. 12) to be married to older men, that teaches that a man in heaven will have 70 virgins to himself, that entitles males to twice the inheritance of females – none of which pertains to Christianity.

          It was Christianity that required monogamous marriage. It is Christianity (as opposed to both Judaism and Islam) that forbids divorce except on the ground of marital unfaithfulness while Islam taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason just by saying the words "I divorce you" three times. In the ancient world a divorced woman was disgraced and often had to turn to prostitution to support herself.

          Your comments are based on an obvious hatred for Christianity.  You just hate Islam less.   
           

          • Anonymous says:

            Ain't no hate in my heart, space cadet.You are the one all eager and ready to cheer in the rapture while your god of love kills billions of people. Check your own compassion levels.

            Since you choose to judge Islam's treatment of women based on the worst Muslims, can I do the same with Christianity? Can I condemn all Christians based on the freakish polygamist sects or good ol' David Koresh's church?

            I don't hate religion, I just hate stupidity. But, if the shoe fits….

            • Anonymous says:

              I am not judging Islam's treatment of women based on the worst Muslims. I am basing it on the teachings of Islam as contained int he Koran and the Hadiths and as practised by its founder Mohammed – orthodox Islam. Your comment about David Koresh etc. (who are not orthodox Christians) only shows how misguided you are.  You can assess Christianity based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as contained in the New Testament.

              You are so blinded by your hatred that you cannot reason clearly.     

              • Anonymous says:

                Clearly you are so angry and bitter toward Islam that you cannot reason. If you could, you would see that the Koran is God's truth. What? It doesn't work when it comes right back at you? Why not? By the way, have you ever considered Scientology? I hear there is plenty of proof that it's valid and it has improved and saved the lives of many. Can I make an appointment for you to get a complimentary reading with an E-meter? No? Ah, you are being blinded by bitterness again, my friend.

                 

                As for Koresh and others not being real Christians, who says? Why do you get to decide? There are thousands of versions of Christianity and they all say that it's you who is wrong. Are you a Catholic? If no, then it's off to hell with you because you haven't been born again. Are you a protestant? Uh oh, then it's off to hell with you because you are not a member of the "true church" and you haven't been taking Holy Communion. The reallity is that since no version of Christianity has any logic or evidence for anything, no one can reasonably claim to right.

                 

                Listen, my friend, shouldn't you just play it safe and be an atheist? Think about it, what if this life is all we get? You would have wasted so much of your time worshipping an imaginary friend and trying to live by his made-up rules. That's tragic.

                 

                Why not just live a good life, be nice to others and refrain from kicking puppies. If, in the end, some loving god turns out to be real he would have to treat you fairly right? Or is it your belief that a good god would be unjust and evil toward good people?

                • Anonymous says:

                  If this were not such a serious issue your post would be hilarious. Since your posts have now completely degenerated into mindless rambling I am signing off now.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Mmmm. When you started this thread you said your anger was against the unfair treatment given to women by Christianity. You even went so far as to quote bible verses. But when the poster pointed out that there is much harsher treatment of women in Islam you go to great lengths to defend Islam while still attacking Christianity but this time on a different basis. Something is very odd about this. I have to say that it seems that you have an your axe to grind with Christianity and it isn't really about the treatment of women. Are you sure you know what you are really angry about?     

            • Anonymous says:

              The reason we are having this discussion is that I am reaching out to the lost. No cheering here.

              • Anonymous says:

                It's not me that's lost. I know exactly what century I'm living in. The question is, do you?

                • Anonymous says:

                  You are so lost that you don't even realise that you are.

                  The truth of the gospel doesn't change because time changes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I really expected women's rights in all forms to take off after the Estella murder but I must read the country's response to that horrible event.

    Domestic violence, child support, equal pay for equal work were just some of the issues of which I expected to see real change.

    Are women second class citizens in Cayman?

    Just vote thumbs down and forget about it.

  5. Sleepless in Savannah says:

    Wait, you mean a Minister made a comment? Does McKeeva know about this? And it was Mike? Man, I gotta some sleep!

    • anonymous says:

      I think Mike must have seen that video of Alden McLaughlin posted on Dr. Florence Goring-Nozza's facebook page! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    I see that the nonsense argument has started again that there is no such thing as a native Caymanian. I have addressed this once before but here goes.

    The first meaning of the word "native" according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary is "a person born in a specified place or associated with a place by birth". Thus, a "native Caymanian" is one who was Caymanian by birth particularly if he was born in the Islands. (I have chosen my words carefully. Note that I did not say that anyone who was born in the Islands is a Caymanian). It was not acquired by naturalisation or grant. He is not a holder of Caymanian status who holds the citizenship of another country. They are those persons that you refer to derogatively when you speak of Caymanians.

    The word "indigenous" means originating naturally in a particular place. The American 'Indians'  are regarded as "indigenous" but there is general agreement that they are the descendants of people from Asia who migrated across the Bering Straits to North America. They did not originate in America but they were the original inhabitants and are therefore regarded as indigenous.

    It is often made to seem that Cayman must be an xenophobic place to maintain such distinctions unlike more 'advanced and civilised' societies. But what is the reality? In our own mother country if you are black even if your parents and yourself were born there and you have full citizenship you are not referred to as English but as "Black British". This usage is institutionalised as it is used as an official category in UK national statistics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_British

    In the United States, they have hyphenated Americans. They feel the need to categorise according to the country of origin of your ancestors, and values are placed upon these categories. Hence one is not simply American but Irish-American, Italian-American, Mexican-American – unless of course your forebears were Anglo Saxon in which case you are just American. The concern there is that sometimes the hyphen indicates a divided loyalty.

    The irony of all of this furore about the use of the term "native Caymanian" is that those who object to its use would not wish to be identified as Caymanian as they hold us in contempt – except of confers when it confers a benefit such as owning a local business.  

    So please, none of the pretentious, condescending speeches to Caymanians who rightly speak of "native Caymanians".   

    • Alan Nivia says:

      What utter drivel.  "Black British"?  What dross.  There is a world of difference between identifying racial catgories for a census and institutionalising discrimination in a law as happens in Cayman.

      Let us say what this is really about.  "Native Caymanians" is used to distinguish a group of Caymanians from those who have obtained Caymanian status after birth.  There said it.  As a matter of Cayman's rights obligations it is illegal to discriminate between these two groups of people.  However there are many advocating it on these boards.

      So by crying for rights for "Native Caymanians", what is really being said is "I want to perpetuate and bolster discrimination against other Caymanians on the basis of their national origin".

      • Anonymous says:

        "'Native Caymanians' is used to distinguish a group of Caymanians from those who have obtained Caymanian status after birth.  There said it."

         

        Congratulations! you've managed to repeat the previous poster point in a sentence!

        • Anonymous says:

          He managed to repeat a point which had already clearly been made as if he were making a new point while missing the other points.   

      • Anonymous says:

        You know you have hit a nerve when you hear spluttering like that.

        "Black British" is used in common speech as well. If there is no institutionalised racism in Britain (and we all know that this is nonsense) then why not simply call them English or Welsh or Scottish rather than "Black British"? It is obviously for the purpose of creating an ethnic distinction. In the UK if you say that someone is English they will be shocked if a person of Afro-Caribbean or Pakistani descent turns up.     

        "Native Caymanians" is used to distinguish a group of Caymanians from those who have obtained Caymanian status after birth.  There said it."

        Yes, precisely. I thought that point was clear from my post. There are good reasons to do so. In fact if one does not distinguish in that way racism will be hidden because a company or firm can claim to have all Caymanian managers or partners or to have awarded scholarships to Caymanians when in reality they are English or Canadian with Caymanian status.  In other words there has been discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, ethnicity or skin colour which is disguised by saying that they are Caymanian. This is akin to saying you have eliminated crime because all previously criminal acts have now been decriminalised, but the reality remains the same.

        My overall point that such distinctions are made everywhere stands.    

        • Anonymous says:

          Erm, no. Don't think I've ever heard 'Black British' used in "common speech" in 30 years in the UK, nor would the vast majority of people be remotely surprised, let alone shocked to hear someone of Afro-Caribbean or Pakistani descent describe themselves as English.

          Time to wake up and realise that the rest of the world is moving on and Cayman is going to be left behind if people persist in tedious attempts to assign rights based on spurious distinctions such as that between native and paper Caymanian. A continued obession with the concept that some people deserve special treatment (and that some people can properly be ignored) is incredibly damaging; it just isn't good enought to say that because there is racism elsewhere in the world, that means that Cayman shouldn't put its own house in order. For evil to triumph all it takes is for good men to do nothing.

          Presumably you don't think that it is acceptable to treat Caymanians as second-class citizens if they go to live abroad, so why should the situation be any different here?

          • Anonymous says:

            Your comment re other ethnic groups being referred to as English is false. The quote I posted from Professor Paul Gilroy demonstrates that.

            Your comment is all about masking the discrimination against native Caymanians by calling everyone Caymanian. Well we won't stand for it. Enough is enough. You do not have any moral high ground to stand on, so stop trying to fake it.     

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL. Yes, there is no discrimination in the UK (or any other country) against ethnic minorities. We believe that.

      • Anonymous says:

        You've got it all turned around. It is native Caymanians who are being discriminated against and that is illegal.   

      • Anonymous says:

        "Nationalism and racism become so closely identified that to speak of the nation is to speak automatically in racially exclusive terms. Blackness and Englishness are constructed as incompatible, mutually exclusive identities. To speak of the British or English is to speak of white people".

         

        – Paul Gilroy, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats absolute rubbish. A Caymanian is a Caymanian not matter howe they obtained it, whether by birth, status grant or other means, and no matter what color they are. To try and put a heirachy or to place Caymanians in certain categories is in my opinion extremely devisive, oozes bigotry, bordering on rascism. All Caymanians should be treated the equally and the term 'Native Caymanian' abolished. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Abolish terms?  Please don't come near me, or my children

      • Anonymous says:

        You don't appear to have read the post.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're missing the poster's point. The expats with status do not see themselves as Caymanians, but look down on Caymanians so that division already exists.  

    • Anonymous says:

      At long last! Thank you for that excellent explanation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the move towards legislated gender equality. However, I see a more pressing problem in Cayman.

     

    Many (not all) employers in Cayman take advantage of the indentured slavery law (aka work permit system).

     

    Many (not all) employers like importing indentured slaves because indentured slaves from impoverished home countries work for peanuts and quietly endure abuse. Many of the indentured slaves are women.

     

    Free, hard working Caymanian women cannot compete in this type of slavery market.

     

    I would put work permit reformation before a gender equality law. One possibility is to take work permits out of the hands of employers and give the work permit to the expat employees.

     

    Believe it or not, this would help reduce Caymanian unemployment. It would force employers to compete for good employees which would raise the pay scale for good employees. Eventually, the cost of importing an indentured slave would be the same or greater than hiring a Caymanian which would give Caymanians a level playing field in the job market.

     

    Ultimately, it would help a vulnerable class of women, both expat and Caymanian.

    • R.U. Kiddin says:

      Anonymous 16:58, I'm going to whole-heartedly agree with you.  Have you ever considered running for public office?

    • Anonymous says:

      16.58 You refer to cheap imported labour here as 'indentured slavery', and from a moral poiint of view, you're probably right. But if you can fill a position with someone who takes their job seriously and  at a price that saves you money, then you are simply taking advantage of market forces, just we all do when we buy ludicrously cheap products that are made in China. As water flows downhill, so labour flows to where it can earn the best wages. We can be sure that labour that flows half way across the planet to Cayman doesn't do so in the spirit of self-flagellation, but with the expectation of gaining a  better life and better opportunities. They might have a tough time here, but it's probably better than what they left behind.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does discrimination against women really exist in Cayman? Does gender wage inequality exist?  I'm a female and I have not experienced this here.  Every job I have applied for in the financial industry I have been hired. I do have a bachelor's degree and I have been promoted accordingly.  I do not think that my male counterparts are making more than I am and if they are it is probably due to the differences in workload.  To be quite honest, I think that I may be making more than my male counterparts…

    So why all the fuss?  Unless my situation is entirely unique. I do not see the point of wasting time and money into furthering this bill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Free black saw no need for the end of slavery either.  You have to keep in mind that if you are an employer or business or government department that is not discriminating then this bill will not effect you.

      Please keep in mind this is not about female equality but gender equality. It protects us all from being discriminate against.  most who oppose it are those who discriminate, f you are not you have nothing to lose.

      • Anonymous says:

        The market place already punishes businesses which discriminate unfairly.  If discrimination is real, the workforce in question is undervalued for their expertise.  It would be more profitable for businesses then to hire from a discriminated workforce.  It's a self correcting equilibrium.

         

        The only reason I see for such legislation is in societies where discrimination is endemic, and which society(the powers that be) want to remedy in the short term.  I do not see that in Cayman.  The reasons I see it being pushed here are solely because it is law in other countries, and an agenda of the UN.  That is not reason enough.

         

        The example of slavery is not a good one as slavery had the power of law behind it.  As a side note, the states in the US in which slavery was abolished were more prosperious than those that weren't(though racism was more endemic paradoxically)(Using 'Democracy in America as the source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_in_America).
         

        As an argument against, groups who are perceived to be discriminated against come with a threat of a law suit, which others don't have, creating positive discimination.

    • Anonymous says:

      16:19 I have to agree with you, this gender hiring has never been a problem in Cayman, just look at the two public servant women that are now  on leave, they were being paid over 100 thousand doallars yearly…and still collecting it. Im sure their salary is on par. with the male counterparts.

      Why do we have to now fu@@ it up, by bringing these laws. It will only encourage the trouble makers to start complaining and sueing companies, now that they have a law to do so.

      This has been proven, every time the government makes a law to give certain people the rights to go after companies, and try to destroy them.

      I see it with the mandatory payment of work permits, where the expats come in the country and beg a company for work, and agrees to pay for his or her own work permit, then after 7 years they have to leave they run to the Immigration to use the law against the companies, to try and destroy them.

      The irony of this is, the employee also breaks the law by admitting he breached the Immigration law, by ignoring the law, by paying the fees for his work permit….but it i always the employers that the Immigratuion takes to court. very unfair on the Immigration part. But they say they going by the  the LAW.

      I see it with the mandatory pension scheem, where most of the time  the construction companies only have work for their 6 or 8 months out of the year, but they are still hounded to pay the contribution…again, they are using the LAW.  

      The government should be ammending these existing laws to make it easier for companies to opperate, and not further burden them down with draconic laws.

  9. Anonymous says:

    do you want to hear a joke?

     

     

     

    ….womens rights

  10. B.B.L. Brown says:

    Another unnecessary law!  Men are better suited for some jobs….  women better suited for others,  Live with it.  I don't believe the goverment has the right to tell me who I can or cannot hire any more than they can tell me who I can pick as my friends.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I applaud this law.  I have been a man all my life and I believe there should be equal pay for equal work.  Hopefully I will get a raise to reflect the fact that I do not miss 3 months of work every two years like my female colleagues who get pregnant as often as they catch the flu.

    • B.B.L. Brown says:

      Golly….. I'm glad you've been a man all your life.   It would really be strange if it were otherwise.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no. There should have been at least a few years when he was a boy.

    • cow itch says:

      have i been a man all my life?   gulp…. oooooooooooh sh%t!   that is not what i see!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was simply following the comment:

    "Adam, Make sure you have 'Equality for Native Caymanians' in that package for the future as there seems to be a rapidly diminishing RIGHT for Native Caymanians.
    Just an observation and thought."

    I have NO CLUE what a "Native Caymanian" is… Iwas sharing my thoughts on one aspect of that statement- the employment aspect in terms of what my understanding of a Native Caymanian is… No one has a RIGHT to a job simply because they are Caymanian but also, this statement implied that this supposed right was being taken away…

    My comment was to shed light on the fact that yes we're in a recession but if you keep trying, going after what you want you will eventually be successful (provided that you worked very hard and got the excellent qualifications that you need). I have NO problem with expats- personally I believe they help our economy greatly but for those who believe that they've been handed all of the good job positions is not a justifiable accusation.

    Also, in my experiences I have had a lot more friendly encounters with expats than I have with Caymanians unfortunately. To be honest, I'm very happy when someone who I grew up in the same class with (who is Caymanian or otherwise) gets accepted into schools, gets a scholarship or a great job opportunity… regardless of where they are from- it simply means that they worked hard and are recognized for their efforts.

    The one thing that I will repeatedly say is no matter where you come from, if you work extremely hard the results will show that you are deserving of all the opportunities life has to offer… 'You reap what you sow'

    • Anonymous says:

      Since you do not know what is meant by native Caymanians who were you referring to in this statement?

      "Also, in my experiences I have had a lot more friendly encounters with expats than I have with Caymanians unfortunately"

    • Patricia X says:

      Native Caymanians are the blue iguana and the turtles that have not been eaten yet.

  13. Len Layman says:

    I would like to thank the Minister Adam for his stand on this issue. This is an important law and the Minister says it well in his comments.

    The Chamber is an organization that is made up of business owners.  Its purpose is to look out for the needs of the business community not the employees.  This is not meant as a negative statement just stating a fact.  They are, in effect a “union” looking out for their members.

    One of the problems I see here in Cayman is that no one is looking out for the average working person.  Both government and The Chamber will give lip service to the working people.  However when passing or supporting a law to protect and look out for them, if the law interferes with “business” , costing them  or inconveniencing them, then the decision is made on the side of making money.  

     Gender equality should be an indisputable right for all people.  Not a right that exist if it works out financially for some.   It is time that we do what is right not what is financially convenient.  It will go a long way towards a better, stronger, and healthier Cayman society.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is a conservative, christian country, so women will never been seen/treated as equal to men.

    Making an exception in the law for religious reasons, proves my point.

    Cayman is a hundred years behind and it will stay that way.

    What we need is more European influence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Christianity does not teach that women are not equal to men. It does teach that they have different roles.   

      • Anonymous says:

        And as a result of that, women are suppressed, and not seen equal.

        The simple story that Eve came after Adam, made out of Adam's rib as a toy for him is the foundation for seeing women as not equal.

        God and Jesus are always referred to as he, him or father. Another sign to make people think male are superior.

        Listen to the radio an hear these pastors yell about the role of women in the family.

        One cannot deny that the root of gender discrimination lays in religion. Any religion.

        • Anonymous says:

          As I said in my previous posts Christianity does teach that men and women have different roles in the home. However, that does not mean that they are unequal. You have a very jaundiced view of Christianity and religion in general, and you are too selective in your references which do not prove your point in any event. For example, you ignore the fact that according to the gospels the first witnesses to Christ's resurrection were women and itwas the men who did not believe them. When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus but did not bring her partner Jesus did not condemn her. As far as treatment of women is concerned the Apostle Paul writes, "Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."

          • Anonymous says:

            But obviously there is a sound moral basis for not permitting women to be priests. As long as you define "sound moral basis" as "deep seated prejudice utterly incompatible with any basic notion of equality". Top marks for a comment which, on closer review, attempts to define "different" as "the same".

            • Anonymous says:

              It is absurd to think that Christianity must bend its teachings about different gender roles to comply with your misguided ideas about equality. Equality does not necessarily mean sameness. We can be equal but have different roles. The idea that equality means sameness is the reason the world is in chaos today.    

              • Anonymous says:

                Almost as ridiculous as the idea that the rest of us have to bend our beliefs about equality to fit in with your misguided ideas about Christianity.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Actually I have a very good understanding of Christianity. Too bad you don't.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You want a Nanny State

  15. Eye on the Isle says:

    This is long over due. Women catch hell in these Islands. Sexual harassment above all.

    Thanks Mike.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don't ever forget that men are also harassed. Gender is a neutral word is'nt it or does it mean women only?

    • Anonymous says:

      There are so many Caymanian men in very high positions who abuse their wives all their  lives that even the children thinks that  it is normal, and then they begin to believe that it is normal. Alot of Caymanian  good women are suffering.  We need to have them disiplined\\

       

  16. Anonymous says:

    IN MY OPINION… there are so many job opportunities for 'native caymanian's'. I specifically see posts and ads that say job opening… caymanian only! It really peeves me when I hear about how the caymanians are being discriminated against and how only expats arebeing employed but the truth of the matter is that if you have the same qualifications as the next person it will be impossible for you not to be given a fair chance.

    The point of distinction is when the expats fight for the job or go that extra mile to distinguish themselves in order to get ahead. I was born in Jamaica but I have lived here most of my life. My entire education was from Saint Ignatius Catholic School. I can support my statements because I know for a fact when I applied for the job I have now they recently laid off a huge chunk of their staff… I applied late and was very reluctant and timid when arriving to the interview.. What set me aside from everyone else is the fact that I pushed through my nervousness, told them why I was deserving, believed in myself, had the grades and qualifications… how were they to say no?!

    I see so much Caymanian talent gone to waste because of a serious lack of ambition. I may not be born here but I consider this home and I am considered a caymanian… & because I went after what I wanted- I succeeded!

    • Anonymous says:

      Business cast a blind eye the giving _preference_ to local residents/caymanians when they should.  The proof is in the ad for the job opennings you mention.  Alot of the requirements aren't necessary.  Nothing is done about this because like everything else here, our immigration policy is not being enforced. 

      I remember being recommended a job through Employment Relations, getting in contact with the business in question, and being told I had more than the necessary qualifications.  I followed up with it a few days later, I was told I was really underqualified.  A week later there was a specially crafted ad in the newspaper for someone they already had in mind.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am afraid that your experience, although often denied by the expats on here, is in fact common. The system is subject to serious abuse and needs to be overhauled.

    • Stiff-Necked Fool says:

      Wait a minute, what is this? Mikey-mike is actually saying something? I wondered where he was because I don't think I've heard anything from him since May of 2009! Oh how silly of me, we haven't heard from any of the other UDP members except the boss come to think of it! That's par for the course as far as the UDP is concerned. I'm not sure what it is Mikey-mike is saying but it sure is good to hear something from him!

    • anonymous says:

      11:50  you are still in Oblivion Land. Wake up and acknowledgege the truth but only after you take a rain check.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has an uncountable number of ignored laws. What's one more?

  18. Anonymous says:

    So, in one article titled "MOU on Cayman Future" the Chamber can brag about signing an MOU with CIG to "support the Future of Cayman economic development initiative", but in this article the Chamber is not supporting the bill as it is too costly (have they explained what ccosts?) to implement. Sounds like a lot of double talk by the Chamber. When was the last time a woman was CEO or President of the Chamber? or even nominated for the positions?

    • Look a little closer says:

      The Chamber and the Law Society did spell out their issues… CNS even provided a link.  They agree a law is needed, and were clear they supported the 'spirit' but the practical application is the issue… remind you of other recent laws rushed through that negatively impacted the country?? We are tentatively starting to recover from the last legislation debacle that led to over 10,000 people leaving and taking their spending with them…

  19. Anon says:

    They need to pass an Equal Opportunity Law which will cover gender, disabilities, ethnicity, age etc so they do not have to go back to the drawing table!! These are other problems that are experienced within the workplace and should not be ignored or dealt with years down the line.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Adam, Make sure you have 'Equality for Native Caymanians' in that package for the future as there seems to be a rapidly deminishing RIGHT for Native Caymanians.

    Just an observation and thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      You just couldn't help yourself could you? Does every issue have to be turned into a Caymanian vs Expat issue? No doubt your definition of a 'Native Caymanian' fits your circumstance. How about this, to be considered a Native Caymanian you have to be able to trace your bloodline back 400 years to the original desecendants of this island  – I would say that if you can do that you area true 'Native Caymanian' if you can't then you are an expat who has just been on the island for a longer period of time then some others. 

      • You are so silly tee heee says:

        400 years, boy you are sooo silly!

        That would make me a mosquito, iguana, alligator, turtle or some other form of swamp life!

         

        • Heather says:

          I believe that is the point being made, no-on here is 'native' to this island. 

    • Subway Cookie says:

      What is a "Native Caymanian"?  I was born and raised here, one of my parents was born here and one wasnt.  One set of my grandparents were born here but only one of my great-grand parents was born here.  Am I native?  Must I delve further into my heritage or the moment my great grand parents from two different countries met and pro-created, did I lose the right to be a native?  I thought only the crocs were native Caymans, Caymanas etc.

      Also, I get treated betterby the expats at my job than I do the Caymanians.  They don't like taking instructions from me and apparntly I think too much of myself.  The expat men treat me equal, while the local men always comment if I have a child care issue or emergency and the local men talk to my boobs not my face.  No sense making a formal complaint because the HR Manager is a local man who reminds me to take my birth control every day and who at every staff function gets wasted and tries to shag everyone.

      So see, your observation is not very observant and your thought not very thoughtful. 

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Your choice of words speaks volumes, and perhaps this is why you are not treated as a "Native Caymanian". 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Allow me to correct on behalf of Subway Cookie:

           

          Wha tis dis "Native Caymanian"?

           

          Can I now be treated like a native Caymanian?  I choose the rights words correct? 🙂

        • Anonymous says:

           

          Seriously?!?!?!  Could you say anything dumber?  On an article about the need for gender equality laws, you say this woman isn’t a true Caymanian because she doesn’t like being ogled by her male Caymanian counterparts? 

          Not sure what to say but WOW!!!!!

      • Loopy Lou says:

        It is like the Muggles, Wizards and Mudbloods in Harry Potter.  But sadly not fictional.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, so true. Some time ago the Premier was ridiculed for using the innocuous word "darling" in the context of our local culture which is an endearing word – no more no less.

      Yet it is perfectly acceptable in our mother country to us the words " Thanks Luv " as a form of gratitude. Again perfectly innocuous and harmless in the context of the local culture.

      What we therefore need in this country is proper training of people who come to work here and also those that raise their kids here about our local culture and nuances. These tensions will continue until such practical sensitivities are solved because "when in Rome one must do as the Romans do".

      Clearly there are a lot of accomodation on both sides to be achieved, but for far too long Caymanians have been the only ones accomodating. We have bent so far over we are almost falling over and we are fed up now.