President's Note - February/March 2018

AFETT Participates in the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
United Nations Headquarters, New York.
March 12 to 23, 2018

AFETT had the absolute honour to participate in the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW62, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Held from 12 to 23 March 2018, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. This year’s theme focused on Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.


AFETT’s President, Charlene Pedro, served as moderator for a parallel session with a panel comprising four Trinidadian female leaders that was spearheaded by Dr. Safeeya Mohammed, Wellness Consultant and former Chair of National Muslim Women of Trinidad and Tobago (NMWOTT). The theme for the parallel forum, conceptualised by Dr. Mohammed, was "Our T.I.M.E. To Catalyse Change”; with the acronym “T.I.M.E.” representing four important tools or areas of development - Technology, Innovation, Media and the Environment.


The dialogue delved into a few challenges and showcased opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. More specifically, the panel shared the opportunities in the context of technology, innovation, media and our environment and presented these factors as necessary and critical tools for gender development to empower women and girls, including rural areas.

Each member of the panel presented on a letter of T.I.M.E.


T - Technology- Ms Fallon Lutchmansingh, Biochemist, Research Coordinator, Diabetes Education Research & Prevention Institute. Ms. Lutchmansingh is the coordinator of the Health in Pregnancy in Trinidad and Tobago (HiPTT) project and part of a multidisciplinary team that leads the national call for universal screening for diabetes in pregnancy using an ICT platform and interactive patient-centred app.


I - Innovation-Dr. Mariell Barrow, Creative Industry Specialist, recipient of Award by the Inter-American Development Bank: one of 10 young innovators. Dr. Barrow initiated and conceptualized a two-year long Fashion, Leadership and Entrepreneurship program for seventy-five youth in at-risk communities in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.


M - Media- Tenille Clarke, Principal Publicist and Managing Director of Chambers Media Solutions explored invisibility, privilege, and the voice of the complex Caribbean Woman, and how these layers impact the way media stories are told in the public domain.


E - Environment-Dr Safeeya Mohammed, Health& Wellness Consultant, Clinical Researcher- United Nations Institute for Training and Research. Dr. Mohammed rounded up the dialogue by tackling the Environment and its impact on Health.


The work of this project also sought to touch on the many Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations for the 2030 Agenda - 13 out of the 17 goals, which include poverty, good health and well-being, education, gender equality, economic growth, industry and innovation, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities among others- and how the achievement of those goals are shaped by our Caribbean environment and infused by our gender experiences.


This initiative was overseen by the Network of NGO's of Trinidad and Tobago for The Advancement of Women and we are very thankful for their work and support.


We are eternally grateful to Dr. Safeeya Mohammed for inviting us to be part of their dynamic team; to the National Muslim Women of Trinidad and Tobago for co-sponsoring the session and to their President, Mrs. Donna Ali for making all the necessary arrangements and providing invaluable support to the delivery of session.


We also wish to express our deepest gratitude to Her Excellency, Ambassador Penelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, who has been the epitome of generosity and to her team for their selfless dedication.

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