March 11th, 2020 -- The International Women’s Day 2020 theme #EachForEqual has not gone unobserved in the Federation. The United Nations Development Programme has been proactive in collaborating with the local female-owned businesses - Brice-Roberts Business Consultancy and Verve Connections, which is a local NGO - by supporting this year’s auspicious International Women in Employment and Business (WEB) conference which will again be hosted by Windsor University School of Medicine.
With the key theme “Sustainability 360 – Goals for Business”, this award-winning conference is at the forefront of increasing the visibility of women in the workplace and this year intends to deepen the engagement of women in the fight to combat climate change, given the deleterious consequences for women’s health.
The keynote for this award-winning conference is being given by Dr Luisa Veloz, a native of the Dominican Republic who has direct experience of managing the impact of climate change when she was involved in the work of the recovery centre following the earthquake in Haiti. Dr Veloz will focus on how an unhealthy environment is the outcome of rising global temperatures, a deterioration in air quality, and volatility and extremities of the weather (storms, floods and droughts). She commented that “The need for solutions is increasingly urgent when we consider in addition the levels of toxins in the home, workplace and general environment and the concerns about the poor quality of foods”.
Currently working as a Medical officer in JNF Hospital A/E department and at Windsor University she will inform participants as to how climate change threatens public health and specifically women’s health because of both underlying disparities, and physiologic differences (such as the health of the cervix), that make climate change so dangerous for women, especially pregnant workers. When physical health is compromised, this has an impact on mental health and unhappy combination for retaining a healthy workforce.
Dr Veloz’s keynote is supported by research by Dr Guri Tzivion who is a Professor of Molecular Biology, Genetics and Immunology at Windsor University. His work shows that although cancer is the second leading cause of death in Woman in the Caribbean, cervical cancer rates in the Caribbean are three times higher than those seen in North America and Europe. Recent research in Europe links increases in the incidence of cervical cancer to rising temperatures. Dr Tzivion stated that “Increasing public awareness through education, outreach and research combined with improved prevention, early detection and treatment will have a strong impact on alleviating this critical discrepancy”
The conference is co-sponsored by the local Global Environment Fund Small Grants Programme. Ilis Watts, the National Co-ordinator for the SGP commented that “we chose to co-sponsor the conference because the GEF Small Grants Programme continues to support communities, including women, and their desire to live and thrive in a changing climate."
Dr Veloz sees the conference as timely adding that “Our genes are significantly linked to our immediate environments whether it be at home or in the workplace. We are not only dependent on our environment for getting our energy resources but also the same environment that gives us all the good stuff can take away our good health. Let’s learn how to achieve a better life and how to make our environment work for our best”.
The 2-day conference will be brimming with ideas for how to de-tox the home and the workplace. It is slated for May 29-30 and will include a roster of both local and international speakers including ace entrepreneur Dr Tamu Browne and top Organisational Psychologist, Dr Sybil Allen-Jones from Canada. Enquiries and bookings can be made for the conference by contacting Euphemia Brice-Roberts on firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeune Guishard-Pine on email@example.com.
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