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Prime Minister suspends 'No-Sleeveless' policy

Social commentator Nadeen Spence
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has suspended the 'No-Sleeveless' policy and has instructed a full review of government dress code practices. 
 
This follows much public outcry.
 
The policy prohibited persons wearing sleeveless attire from entering government buildings.
 
In a statement Friday afternoon, the Office of the Prime Minister said following a review of the longstanding practice, it was found that while it exists to prohibit persons who wear sleeveless from entering government buildings, there is no law or official government policy on which this practice is based.  
 
The OPM said Cabinet has taken note of the concerns expressed by members of the public and empathises with the unfortunate experiences shared primarily by women.
 
Mr. Holness has instructed the Cabinet Secretary to write to Ministries, Departments and Agencies to make them aware that they are not to deny access or services to persons, based on their sleeveless attire, as this is not the policy of the government. 
 
To ensure the formulation of a proper policy, in the medium term, Minister of Gender Affairs Olivia "Babsy" Grange has been mandated to formulate, subject to consultation, a government dress code policy that is aligned with modern considerations as well as the climatic realities of Jamaica.
 
'Unconstitutional' 
                                                          
Meanwhile, responding to the news of a suspension of the no-sleeveless policy, social commentator Nadeen Spence said it never existed to begin with and was, in fact, unconstitutional since people were being denied necessary services just because someone felt they were not dressed properly. 
 
"So I think that it is not a suspension of a policy. It's ensuring that something that was quite illegal, something that was quite unnecessary, no longer happen," she insisted. 
 
Ms Spence added that she hopes any policy on dress codes developed by the government will be practical and fit the Jamaican climate and culture.
 
She also called for a move away from what she has describes as the remnants of colonial times and snobbery. 
 


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