Sub-Regional Workshop on Gender Equality at Work

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Judges and senior officials from the Caribbean Courts with jurisdiction on labour and employment issues, from 13 International Labour Organization (ILO) Caribbean Member States and non-metropolitan territories will attend a five-day Sub-regional Workshop on Gender Equality at Work next week.

The Workshop, which will be held at the Hilton Barbados, from September 9-13, is being organised by the ILO???s Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean (DWT/O-POS) based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in collaboration with the ILO Gender Equality and Diversity Branch, Geneva, Switzerland.

It is one in a series that the ILO constituents requested following the discussion on gender equality and decent work at the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference, 2009 in Geneva.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, will address the Opening Ceremony of the Workshop on Monday, September 9, beginning at 9:00 a.m., along with President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, His Honour Sir Dennis Byron; the Director of the ILO Gender Equality and Diversity Branch, Jane Hodges; and the Director, DWT/O-POS, Dr. Giovanni di Cola.

The workshop will provide a forum for judges, senior officers of the Court and high-level officials dealing with labour and employment issues to have a greater appreciation for the ILO standard-setting function and supervisory machinery as it relates to national law on gender equality.

Participants will also be afforded the opportunity to build on their knowledge of a set of International Labour Standards related to gender equality; and strengthen judicial capacity to apply International Labour Law in resolving national gender inequality labour disputes.

Presentations at the five-day workshop will focus on the International Labour Standards System and gender equality; the role of workers??? and employers??? organisations in fighting workplace discrimination; HIV and AIDS and the world of work; and Convention No. 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. There will also be a panel discussion on Gender-based Violence and Sexual harassment at work.

According to Ms.Hodges: ???The ILO promotes its agenda of decent work for women and men primarily through its International Labour Standards. These Conventions and Recommendations are aligned and implemented in national law and form the bedrock of efforts to promote full and productive employment with rights at work, social protection and the promotion of social dialogue.??? She added that the promotion of gender equality and the fight against discrimination was a central aspect of the Decent Work Agenda.

???Two of ILO core Conventions are particularly relevant to this five-day Workshop and they are: Conventions No. 100 on ???Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, 1951??? and No. 111 on ???Discrimination in respect of Employment and Occupation, 1958 says Dr. Giovanni di Cola, Director, DWT/O-POS???, she explained.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to better use and apply international labour law to enhance gender equality when delivering labour justice at the national level.

The ILO is a specialised agency within the United Nations system committed to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

Author: Cathy Lashley/ILO
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