Jamaican Gov’t partners with UWI for Sexual Harassment research
#KINGSTON, March 5, 2020 (JIS): The Government will be partnering with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Open Campus, over the next three years, to provide training and research on sexual harassment in the workplace and related matters.
Specifically, the collaboration is between the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute.
The partnership will see the Institute providing special training through seminars, lectures and workshops coordinated by the Bureau. Training will cover the areas of sexual harassment, workplace bullying, emotional intelligence, labour laws, grievance handling and good industrial relations practices.
Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise this partnership during a ceremony at the UWI Regional Headquarters on February 28.
The emphasis will be on providing support to combat the stigma of sexual harassment through research and the areas of training identified. It is expected to contribute to an appreciation among public sector workers of the importance of promoting an environment free of sexual harassment, in which all categories of workers are treated with respect and dignity.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who participated in the signing, said the MOU has been entered into at an opportune time, in light of “the increasing incidents of violence and abuse of our women.”
She noted that through the MoU, the intent is to explore the impact on productivity of sexual harassment and the implications for workplace competitiveness.
“We would also want to examine the link between sexual harassment and the society; the existing and potential costs in legal related terms; the cost associated with the re-orientation of victims back into the society; the loss of skilled workers; and the psychologically-related costs that are often associated with these abuses,” she said.
She pointed out that the Ministry’s collaboration with the UWI Open Campus will assist in defining the scope of the research agenda, “and to better prepare us for the challenges in combatting sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Ms. Grange said an important benefit from this collaboration is in the area of training, which will focus on prevention of sexual harassment.
“In that regard, we must create a vision of a new Jamaica where respect, tolerance and dignity and a high self-esteem are seen as the norm for workplace behaviours, and that organisations take the time and make the effort to offer mentorship and specialised training for persons who have been socialised to show disrespect for women,” she said.
In her remarks, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, said through ongoing training, the Institute has been working to address the issue of sexual harassment.
“Over the last year or two, the Institute has been at the forefront of training and sensitisation in over 30 orgnisations in Jamaica and the region in both the public and private sectors and they have dealt with not only sexual harassment, but also workplace bullying, and in guiding policy development and implementation in the workforce,” she said.
Dr. Longsworth argued that knowing what is happening in the workplace is important to ensuring the improvement of labour relations in Jamaica.
She noted that Jamaica’s “own culturally nuanced approach to gender interactions in the workplace needs to be explored. They need to be scrutinised and most importantly, they need to be researched in order to guide our policy development.”
“We know that there is a dearth of that type of research in the Caribbean which will guide policy and practice is some of our major industries,” she said.
She noted for instance, that research needs to be done on the local hospitality industry, pointing to research from the United Kingdom (UK) which revealed that nine out of every 10 workers in the sector have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
Dr. Longsworth also pointed to the need to explore the situation of domestic workers as well as call centre employees.
She said that sexual harassment is not only about human rights and social justice, but it makes good business sense for organisations to invest in eliminating sexual harassment, citing research in the United States (US) which has shown that the effects of sexual harassment on productivity and health, as well as the cost of litigation, can go up to US$22,000 per employee in the company that is affected.
JIS NEWS by ALECIA SMITH
Wal Registre’s Impressive Rise at BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: When Wal Registre started his career at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) on October 25, 1997 as a bartender, little did he know that 25 years after, he would have risen to the post of payroll administrator within the same organisation.
The Raymond Gardiner High School graduate was always good at accounting and mathematics and had the dream of excelling in the hospitality industry in an area that would best fit his passion and academic strength.
Having been promoted to bar supervisor in 1999, Wal’s vision for growth was still active as he recognised that being a team member at Beaches Turks and Caicos would allow him to excel beyond his comfort zone. Following the completion of a number of courses with the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), he transitioned to the Cost Control unit in the Accounting Department as the cost control clerk.
Wal pointed out that his ability to grow within the company was largely due to his commitment to excellence. The SCU courses that were offered gave him the added training needed to build on what he was able to learn on the job and from his mentors.
“At BTC, training is very important to each employee. There are many opportunities for professional development and with the guidance from the Learning and Development team, and the leaders within the company, team members can truly grow,” Registre added.
One of Wal’s colleagues, Janet King, noted, “Wal’s commitment serves as an example to every team member here. His ability to grow from an entry level position to where he is now shows that everyone can succeed once they put their minds to it.”
While expressing his commitment to his profession, Wal’s dedication and discipline are traits that he values and chooses to pass on to those he leads. In sharing his advice to younger professionals seeking to enter the industry, he noted, “this organisation believes in quality work life balance that will allow each team member valuable time with family. This period helps me to maintain a bond with my family and explore the world. Training within this company is available for everyone and the ability to grow professionally is dependent on each person having the right attitude to grow.”
Header:Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at Beaches Turks and Caicos makes final checks as he goes through documents at his desk at the resort
Insert: Anna Francis, Accountant in the Finance department at Beaches Turks and Caicos and Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at the resort pause from discussing work related items to smile for the camera
Special Needs Unit Students at Thelma Lightbourne Primary School recognised by BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands – Parents and students from the Special Education Unit at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School were recently recognized by the Beaches Turks and Caicos team during a special session at the institution as part of autism awareness activities.
Children’s Activities Manager Fedeline Julien shared, “educating students, parents, teachers and other adults about the best practices of dealing with children with autism is needed especially in our homes and schools. Children who are autistic do things differently and should be treated with patience and care.”
Robin Cox Foster, principal of the school said, “the partnership between Beaches Turks and Caicos and our school is always welcome. As the only resort on island that is an autism certified centre, they were readily available to share with our students and their parents. The involvement of the Sesame Street character, the presentations from the Kids Camp team to the parents allowed those present to appreciate their roles in being change agents for autism.”
Caring for a child with special needs was highlighted as an opportunity to create a closer bond between child and parent/caregivers.
Walter Moore, who has a son on the spectrum shared, “being able to deal with the many challenges of a special needs child will assist parents in being more patient and creative in how they care for a child. My son and I are best friends. He is comfortable talking with me about anything and I have to learn how to respect his likes and dislikes and create an environment that makes him happy.”
Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Kids Camp is an Advanced Certified Autism Centre which ensures that team members have the required knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children. The resort offers age-specific programmes for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.
Header: Tanya Swann (left), Director of Sales, Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos introduces the team of volunteers who were present while Robin Cox-Foster, school principal looks on
1st Insert: Walter Moore (left) Beaches Turks and Caicos team member shares a moment with his son (right) and Sesame Street character Sesame Street
2nd Insert: Some members of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Sandals Foundation team share a moment at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School during a presentation to the institution
CARPHA Plans Activities for Caribbean Nutrition Day and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 1 June 2023. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) joins the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) and countries in the Caribbean region in commemorating Caribbean Nutrition Day (1 June) and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month (June) 2023.
Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month are annual regional nutrition education and information campaigns that aim to promote healthy eating and active living in populations using a promotion-based approach. To kick-start the month, Caribbean Nutrition Day will be observed under the theme: “Let’s Nourish to Flourish…Your Mental Health Matters.” It was first celebrated on 1 June 2004 and became a month-long observance in response to the growing recognition of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion. Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month provides an opportunity to promote and encourage health seeking behaviours on a range of topics and across multiple sections of the population.
“CARPHA has planned a series of activities to commemorate these campaigns, and to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition. This includes the launch of a Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit. A social media campaign will also be rolled out to engage the public on nutrition and mental health and nutritional management of NCDs in the region,” said Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at CARPHA.
The observance of Caribbean Nutrition Day originated from the former Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI); one of five institutions subsumed under the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
- Fifth Meeting of the CARPHA Six Point Policy Package (6-PPP) Inter-Agency Technical Committee (ITC) on Monday 12 June 2023.
The 6-point policy package is a framework instituted in 2017 to promote healthier food environments and food security to address childhood obesity (and non-communicable diseases) through joint policy action. The 6-PPP includes policy recommendations to address: (1) Food Labelling; (2) Nutrition Standards and Guidelines for Schools and other Institutions; (3) Food Marketing; (4) Nutritional Quality of Food Supply; (5) Trade and Fiscal Policies; and (6) Food Chain Incentives. The ITC comprises of CARICOM institutions and other agencies with responsibility for economic and social sectors to collectively monitor and coordinate the implementation of the 6-PPP.
- Webinar to launch the Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit on Tuesday 13 June 2023.
The toolkit – comprising of booklets, posters, flyer and recipes for both the health care professional and person with diabetes – will standardise the nutritional management of diabetes in primary care in the Caribbean. The toolkit was developed in 2022 following a Rapid Needs Assessment of Nutrition Services in primary health care in a representative 10 Member States. This initiative was funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the CARPHA-led project “Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to Prevent and Control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean”.
Click here to register in advance for this Webinar
CARPHA will also disseminate an article “Nutrition for Good Mental Health”. The article will highlight the essential role nutrition (nutrients) play in the functioning of the nervous system and key elements of the diet to ensure good mental health.
We encourage persons to follow CARPHA’s social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – for updates and pertinent information on nutrition for good mental health and NCDs management.
CARPHA will also be supporting its Member States in their celebration of Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month.
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