Gender and Development Forum: Day 3

Gender and Development Forum: Day 3
28 September 2021
14:30 - 23:15 hrs. (CEST) / 08:30-17:15 hrs. (AST)
Virtual Conference Centre, Frangipani Auditorium

The inclusion of the Gender and Development Forum at UNCTAD 15 demonstrates a commitment by UNCTAD and Barbados to attaining Sustainable Development Goal #5 - "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."



14:30–15:30 (CEST)

08:30–09:30 (AST)

Sustainability, climate and extractives: Restructuring development and trade


  • Ms. Anita Nayar, Regions Refocus


  • Dr. Maya Trotz, Strong Coasts

15:30–16:30 (CEST)

09:30–10:15 (AST)

Feeling blue: feminist perspectives on the blue economy

[Cross-regional dialogue]


  • Ms. Emeline Siale Ilolahia, Pacific Island Association of NGOs (PIANGO)
  • Ms. Beverley Wade, Director of Fisheries, Government of Belize


  • Ms. Mereoni Chung, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

16:00-18:30 (CEST

10:00-12:30 (AST)

UNCTAD Gender and Development Workshop: Our work makes a difference

16:30–17:45 (CEST)

10:15–11:45 (AST)

Indigenous knowledge and technologies: rethinking sustainability, economy and ecology


  • H.E. Ms. Froyla Tzalam, Governor General of Belize
  • Ms. Alisi Rabukawaqa, Ocean expert and climate activist, Fiji Pacific representative, Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group for the Global Environment Facility
  • Ms. Araba Opoku, Visal Artist, Ghana


  • Prof. Violet Eudine Barriteau, University of the West Indies at Cave Hill

17:45–18:00 (CEST)

11:45–12:00 (AST)

Repositioning gender analyses to address structural inequalities affecting social and economic development

[Lightning talk]


  • The Honorable Kamina Johnson Smith, Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)


  • Ms. Tonni Ann Brodber, UN Women Multi-country Office Caribbean

18:00–19:00 (CEST)

12:00–13:00 (AST)

Africa-Caribbean cross regional dialogue on the creative industries


  • Ms. Shanika Burnett, Fashion designer SHAKAD Eco Lifestyle, Barbados
  • Ms. Sheena Rose, Contemporary Artist, Barbados
  • Ms. Rehema Isa, Womanomics Africa, South Africa
  • Ms. Araba Opoku, Visual Artist, Ghana


  • Dr. Tonya Haynes, Co-lead organizer, UNCTAD15 Gender and Development Forum

19:00–20:15 (CEST)

13:00–14:15 (AST)

The future of work: Precarity and gig economy, erosion of unionization, eCommerce, artificial intelligence


  • Ms. Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Ms. Ina Leblanc, National Union of Domestic Employees
  • Ms. Sofia Scasserra, World Labor Institute, National University Tres de Febrero (tbc)
  • Ms. Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change


  • H.E. Dr. Halimah DeShong, Ambassador / Second Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations

20:15–21:15 (CEST)

14:15–15:15 (AST)

Migration and trade; gender, trafficking, and forced labour


  • Ms. Beena Pallical, Asia Dalit Rights Forum
  • Dr. Geraldine Adiku, University of Ghana
  • Ms. Eni Lestari, International Migrants Alliance


  • Dr. Joan Philips, University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus

21:15–22:15 (CEST)

15:15–16:15 (AST)

Underwriting economic exploitation: unpaid labour, care work, and social reproduction


  • Ms. Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Senior research fellow, Trade collective, Founding fellow of the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute
  • Ms. Daisy Arago, Asia Pacific Women Law and Development (APWLD), Labour Programme and Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)
  • Ms. Valeria Esquivel, Employment Policies and Gender Specialist Employment Policy Department, International Labour Organization
  • Ms. Helene Davis-Whyte, Public Services International


  • Prof. Alissa Trotz, Red Thread (Guyana) and University of Toronto

22:15–23:15 (CEST)

16:15–17:15 (AST)

Towards UNCTAD 16



  • Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
  • Prof. Violet Eudine Barriteau,
  • Dr. Tonya Haynes
  • Ms. Roberta Clarke


  • Ms. Toni Ann Brodber, UN Women Multi-country Office Caribbean


Visit the virtual conference centre


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24 Sep 2021

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Maya Trotz
University of South Florida
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Dr. Maya Trotz is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. She directs STRONG Coasts, a National Research Traineeship program to foster food, energy, and water solutions with coastal communities, and leads the knowledge management component of a Green Climate Fund project, Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados.

She is Guyanese born and the past President of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors and a board member of Fragments of Hope Corp, a coral restoration NGO in Belize. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.

Anita Nayar
Gender and Trade Coalition
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Anita Nayar directs Regions Refocus and co-chairs the Gender and Trade Coalition. She has worked nationally and internationally on issues including women human rights, economic globalization, and climate justice.

She previously served as Chief of the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service in New York and on the Executive Committee of the South-based feminist network, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN).

Emeline Siale Ilolahia
Executive Director
Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations
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Emeline Siale Ilolahia is the Executive Director of Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO) Fiji, Tonga, and Pacific region.

Siale is a Tongan civil society leader, women’s advocate and activist. As Executive Director of PIANGO, she represents the interests of Pacific civil society in a range of regional and international fora. In her previous role as Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga, Siale was instrumental in bringing together and supporting coalitions working on issues as diverse as ethical leadership, women’s access to finance, women’s leadership and political participation.

Siale was awarded an inaugural Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award in Washington DC in 2016 in recognition of her contributions to local leadership efforts in Tonga.

Mereoni Chung
Feminist Activist and Associate
Development Alternatives with Women for a New era
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Mereoni Chung is an associate with Development Alternatives with Women for a New era (DAWN), with a keen focus on Political Ecology and Sustainability.

Mereoni is a Fijian feminist activist that works with civil society organisations in Fiji, with Pacific collectives, and across the global south with feminist networks to mobilise action for gender equality and social justice. Presently, she is working with Pacific civil society collectives to progress critiques and alternative perspectives on global and regional development concerns and issues, such as the Blue Economy.

She holds a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management and Development from the Australia National University (ANU), and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the South Pacific, Fiji.

Froyla Tzalam
Government of Belize
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H.E. Froyla Tzalam is the Governor General of Belize. She is a Mopan Maya woman from San Antonio, Toledo, standing with a foot in both the Maya and western worlds.

As a Mopan Maya leader, she strives to forge understanding and tolerance between the indigenous and industrialized worlds. This requires ever more urgency under the shadow of climate change. Her Excellency believes that all people must know their history in order to promote and protect their identity and culture. In particular, she believes that the modern descendants of the ancient Maya have many reasons to be proud of their heritage and that our knowledge can contribute to the solutions of modern day challenges.

From a young age she has worked in the fields of culture, history and indigenous rights. She authored “Learning to Read and Write in Mopan Maya”, a grammar book on Mopan Maya, as well as numerous articles on culture and identity.

Her Excellency Ms. Froyla Tzalam was co-director of the African Maya History Project, for which she co-authored the book “Belize New Vision, African and Maya Civilizations”. During her time with the National Institute of Culture and History, she curated numerous exhibitions on Belize’s culture and history. Her Excellency was a part of the task force for the Belizean Studies programme that is now being implemented nation-wide in secondary schools.

Before taking the helm at the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIM), an NGO that promotes the rights of indigenous people while preserving the natural heritage of our country, she completed a report on Gender Equity among Q’eqchi Maya Women. Her findings have deeply influenced her work as the first woman to lead SATIIM. Her Excellency has served as the chair of two umbrella organizations; her work resulted in formal participation of NGOs on national committees and the strengthening of community-based organizations’ governance to ensure accountability.

H.E. Ms. Froyla Tzlam holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Development from the University of Sussex, England and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Trinity University, Texas. Her many interests include farming, forest vegetables, cooking, sewing, DIY projects and current affairs. Her Excellency is married with two children, Yasil and Yanil Tz’ak.

Alisi Rabukawaqa-Nacewa
Marine Scientis
International Union for the Conservation of Nature
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Alisi Rabukawaqa-Nacewa works as a marine scientist with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, providing consultation on marine protected areas within Fiji and with communities” as protected oceans are a solution to climate change and the resilience of the Pacific people.

Alisi is one of Fiji leading ocean experts, who for the past decade has worked in environment conservation, climate activism and indigenous peoples traditional rights and knowledge advocacy.

She sits on the youth-led grassroots network Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders as the Melanesian representative, providing traditional knowledge on working with Pacific communities and indigenous perspectives to their climate justice work. She is also a member of the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group for the Global Environment Facility as the Pacific representative.

Alisi is also one of the few Melanesian women who have sailed the world seas on a vaka, a traditional double-hulled canoe as part of the Te Mana o Te Moana (The Spirit of the Ocean) journey where sailors navigated waters across the Pacific Ocean œpromoting traditional sustainable shipping and ocean protection.

Maame Araba Baboa Opoku
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Maame Araba Baboa Opoku is a multidisciplinary artist and collaborator. Her body of work ranges from abstract paintings to more specific projects an example of such a project is her Children of the Motleys cycle, painted with acrylic on skiagraph (Xray films sewn together with cotton threads)

Araba works have been exhibited at the Fullmoon Exhibition, Artemartis (August 2019), Afrifem artxfeminism, Nubuke Foundation (March 2020), Stations of Protest, Cult Meraki/Nubuke Foundation (December 2020), among others. She has also collaborated with artists as well as established firms and organisations, an example being Vlisco International, on a three-month residency project on fashion and art, which ended in March 2021.

She belongs to an art collective based in Accra, Artemartis, where she serves as both an artist and its creative director. She is currently undergoing a fellowship at the Noldor Artist Residency in Ghana.

In her spare time, she works on charity projects with organizations, individuals and other artists, where she educates children in orphanages on art and helps them nurture their talents.

Violet Eudine Barriteau
Professor of Gender and Public Policy
University of the West Indies at Cave Hill
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Ms. Violet Eudine Barriteau is Professor of Gender and Public Policy at the University of West Indies Cave Hill in Barbados.

Professor Barriteau's research interests encompass transformational educational leadership, feminist theorizing and investigations of the Caribbean political economy, and gender and public policy.

On 2019, the Government of Barbados conferred on her The Order of Freedom of Barbados, the country's highest national honour.

Kamina Johnson Smith
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
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Kamina Johnson Smith is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. Concurrently, she is Leader of Government Business in the Senate. Notably, Senator Johnson Smith is Jamaica's first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the first born after the nation's independence.

Minister Johnson Smith has, among other initiatives, chaired the CARIFORUM group in 2016-17, and in that capacity led the opening of discussions with the UK regarding post-Brexit trade arrangements. In 2018, she served as President of the ACP Council of Ministers and chaired the CARICOM Council of Foreign Ministers and was the first Jamaican Foreign Minister to attend G7 and G20 meetings. In 2019 she was appointed as President of Council of the International Seabed Authority.

Minister Johnson Smith has also worked with a wide range of bilateral and international development partners, supporting the attainment of Jamaica's sustainable development goals, as well as strengthening Jamaica's contribution to important global efforts to build peace and security, foster respect for human rights, and promote a strong and fair multilateral trading system.

Senator Johnson Smith is an Attorney-at-Law who worked previously in private practice and as corporate in-house counsel. She holds degrees from The University of the West Indies and the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School.

Minister Johnson Smith was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and is married. She enjoys reading, yoga and jogging.

Tonni Brodber
UN Women Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean
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Tonni Brodber is the Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean.

Prior to her appointment in August 2020, Ms. Brodber served as Deputy Representative from 2015 -2020 with the MCO Caribbean. Before this Ms Brodber was the Team Leader for the Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific programme with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office.

Ms Brodber served as the Gender Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme in South Africa, as well as briefly with the UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office and established what is now the UN Women Country Office in Haiti.

Ms. Brodber work experience also includes lecturing in International Relations and Development Studies at Yanshan University in China, and directing and co-producing, a film on Haiti.

Ms. Brodber received her first degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and has post graduate degrees in Development Studies and Business Administration from the London School of Economics and ESADE Business School in Barcelona.

Ms. Brodber is raising two sons with her husband.

Shanika Burnet
Fashion designer and artist
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Shanika Burnet is an award winning fashion designer and artist whose culture and lifestyle act as her direct inspiration. Best known for creating environmentally conscious pieces and working with unique Caribbean designed textiles. Growing up in a Rastafari household, Shanika developed her love for the environment and began her journey in the arts as a young child. She spent many summers exploring her creativity, making doll clothes, craft projects and art and developed many additional skills through her teenage years as an avid art student. Since establishing Shakad in 2008, now re-branded Shakad Eco-Lifestyle, she has received several awards, including most recently, the Caribbean Style & Culture “Award of Excellence in Fashion Innovation” at the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards 2021 in Washington D.C., and has been nominated for several others, most notably, Best New Designer at AFWT (Africa Fashion Week Toronto) 2016.

Sheena Rose
Visual Artist
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Sheena Rose is a visual artist who works in Barbados. Sheena is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Sheena has a multi-disciplinary practice such as paintings, drawings, performance art, new media, public art, and mixed media, Sheena has exhibited internationally.

Sheena has been a participant in Biennials, Museums, Galleries, Art Fairs, Festivals, Auctions, international artist’s residencies, and Art Collections.

 Sheena has been featured in many media, newspapers, and magazines, book covers such as The New York Times, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Vogue, Hospitality Design, White Wall, WeTranfer, Black Futures, Fox Television Empire Season 6, The Star Side of Bird Hill written by Naomi Jackson.

Sheena officially started her company called Sheena Rose Inc. and in 2020, Sheena was one of the recipients of the Greensboro School of Art Distinguished Alumni award.

Rehema Isa
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Rehema Isa is co-founder OYA a boutique strategy advisory firm designing and developing scale up solutions for enterprises; OYA Foods an agribusiness aggregator and processing enterprise linking women in the agribusiness sector to markets; and Womanomics Africa, charting economic highways which traverse geo-political boundaries connecting women in Africa to entrepreneur ecosystems, development partners and business opportunities facilitating intra Africa Trade

Rehema is a seasoned business strategist, leadership development coach and social impact entrepreneur. Also she's a faculty member of University of Witwatersrand Business School (WBS), Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) and Johannesburg Business School (JBS) as an educator, leadership coach and action learning facilitator on executive and leadership development programmes.

Rehema is the licensee of TEDxLytteltonWomen, responsible for curating and producing 85 TEDx talks by African women over a period of 6 years delivering on a mission to amplify the voices of African women.

Tonya Haynes
Co-Lead Organiser
UNCTAD XV Gender and Development Forum
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Dr. Tonya Haynes is Co-Lead Organiser of the UNCTAD XV Gender and Development Forum.

Dr. Haynes is the first graduate of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit (IGDS:NBU) PhD programme, proudly representing a new generation of homegrown Caribbean feminist scholars. Animated by the liberatory potential of Caribbean feminisms. Dr. Tonya Haynes has published essays on Caribbean feminisms and feminist thought in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, sx:archipelagos, Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies and Love and Power: Caribbean Discourses on Gender (edited by Eudine Barriteau).

Her research on gender-based violence is published in Global Public Health and Social and Economic Studies. She is co-editor (with Dr. Tami Navarro) of the Special Issue of the Scholar and Feminist Online entitled “Caribbean Feminisms: Interventions in Scholarship, Art, and Activism across the Region”. She currently serves as Acting Head of the IGDS:NBU where she is also lecturer in Gender and Development Studies.

Isabelle Durant
Deputy Secretary-General
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
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Ms. Isabelle Durant, of Belgium, is Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD. From February to 12 September 2021, she headed the organization as Acting Secretary-General before the appointment of a new UNCTAD Secretary-General on 13 September 2021. Prior to holding this position, she served the organization for over three years as UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Ms. Durant had a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics. She held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and Presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.

Ms. Durant has a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector as well, notably as the Vice-President responsible for relations between the European Parliament and civil society. Finally, Ms. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Ida Le Blanc
General Secretary
National Union of Domestic Employees
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Ida Le Blanc is the General Secretary of the National Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE). A former 4th Vice President of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC). At present she sits on the steering committee for Women and Work of the Economic Social and Cultural Rights Network based in New York after elected for a second term.

Ms Le Blanc has served on several National Boards and Triarpitite Committees representing the NATUC and Civil Society. A former member of the Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women for the Caribbean and an alumnae of the Human Rights Advocate Program at the Columbia University New York. Ms Le Blanc has worked on behalf of domestic workers and low income workers at the National, Regional and International level seeking protection and equity for them using the CEDAW and ILO Convention as tools in seeking the protection they need. Ms. Le Blanc was the first Trade Unionist to bring cases before the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago for violations of the Minimum Wages Order.

She was victorious in leading the campaign, advocating for the decriminalization of the Minimum Wages Act giving unions the right to hear cases of non compliance in the Industrial Court and has spearheaded many victories won on behalf of Low Income Workers in cases of Wrongful Dismissal; Retrenchment; and violations of the Maternity Protection Act and the Minimum Wages Act. Her passion does not lie only with grievance handling and advocacy but with training for low income workers in particular domestic workers.

She has coordinated many programs in collaboration with ILO, UN Women and other agencies to empower domestic workers and other low income workers by training them in grievance handling, negotiation, organizing, recruiting, and raising awareness on their rights and entitlements in the workplace.

Sofia Scasserra
Economist, Researcher and Teacher
World Labor Institute Of the National University Tres de Febrero in Argentina
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Sofia Scasserra, Economist. Researcher and teacher at the World Labor Institute Of the National University Tres de Febrero in Argentina. She is also an advisor to the latin american trade union movement and to the Argentine Senate labor commission.

Anita Gurumurthy
Founding Member and Executive Director
IT for Change
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Anita Gurumurthy is a Founding Member and Executive Director of IT for Change, where she leads research on the platform economy, data and AI governance, democracy in the digital age, and feminist frameworks on digital justice.

Anita actively engages in national and international advocacy on digital rights and contributes regularly to academic and media spaces. She serves as advisor and expert on various bodies including the United Nations Secretary-General’s 10-Member Group in support of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism , the Paris Peace Forum’s working group on algorithmic governance, Save the Children’s ICT4D Brain Trust, and Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab ‘s Board. 

Beena J. Pallical
General Secretary
Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
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Beena J Pallical is currently General Secretary of the Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR). Over the last 11 years she is with the NCDHR working on the Dalit Economic Rights. She has been passionately working towards policy changes with the Central and State governments towards the marginalised communities (Dalits and Tribals) and been demanding that Dalit Women be included in policy formulation.

Her main focus continues to be on Economic Justice and specifically looking at Gender Equity. Since 2015 she has been engaging on the SDGs and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to bring in both Gender Equity but also recognition of communities discriminated on work and Descent (CDWD). She also heads the Asia Dalit Women’s Economic Empowerment Program within the Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF) that works on empowering Dalit women in South Asia (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and India). She is an expert of Gender issues and looks at the intersectionality of Economic Rights and gender.

Geraldine Asiwome Adiku
Departmental Lecturer
University of Ghana
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Dr. Geraldine Asiwome Adiku is a departmental lecturer at the department of Sociology University of Ghana. Her research areas include: ‘Global South’ to ‘Global North’ migration, African migration, migration and development, migration industry, transnational families, remittances and other transnational transfers.

Her previous research has explored themes such as the role of ‘door-to-door’ shipping operators in Ghanaian international migration, the role of reverse remittances in the lives of African migrants in the West and how African states engage their Diaspora for development in the age of social media. Her current research explores the identity formation of second-generation immigrants on the African continent.

Eni Lestari
International Migrants Alliance
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Eni Lestari is the chairperson of International Migrants Alliance, the first ever global alliance of grassroots migrants, immigrants, refugees and other displaced people. After escaping her abusive employer, she transformed herself from victim into organizer for domestic workers in particular and migrant workers in general. For nearly two decades, she has been active in migrant’s empowerment and held important positions in various organizations, alliances and formations working on the issue of migration, trafficking and women.

Eni is an Indonesian domestic worker in Hong Kong and migrant right’s activist. She is an active resource person in forums organized by academics, interfaith groups, civil societies, trade unions and many others at national, regional and international arenas She has actively participated in United Nations assemblies/conferences on development and migrant’s rights and chosen as a speaker at the opening of the UN General Assembly on Large Movement of Migrants and Refugees in 2016 in New York City, USA. She was also honored with nominations and awards such as Inspirational Women by BBC 100 Women, Public Hero Award by RCTI, Indonesian Club Award, and Non Profit Leader of Women of Influence by American Chamber Hong Kong, and Changemaker of Cathay Pacific.

Joan Phillips
Senior Lecturer and Post Graduate Coordinator
University of the West Indies
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Dr. Joan Phillips is a senior lecturer and post graduate coordinator of Sociology in the department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, and completed her PhD at the University of Bedfordshire. She is also a recipient of a Leverhulme Post-doctoral fellowship from the University of London, Royal Holloway her research focus on the nexus between gender, race and Sexuality. Her current research interests are mobilities in the diaspora, postcoloniality and its intersection with gender. She has also undertaken research into return migration She is a skilled qualitative researcher with over thirty years of experience using a emyriad of data collection methods including in-depth interviews, focus groups and other ethnographic methods to conduct hard to reach groups or vulnerable groups.

Lebohang Liepollo Pheko
Senior Strategist and Development Practitioner
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Lebohang Liepollo Pheko is a senior strategist and development practitioner, an activist scholar, academic, public intellectual, for over 25 years. Her research Interests are in Afrikan political economy, States and nationhood, international trade and global financial governance, feminisation of poverty, regional integration and impacts of globalisation on labour migration.

Senior Research Fellow at research and policy advocacy think tank - Trade Collective, founding fellow of the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute and has taught International Trade, Afrikan Feminist Theory, International Development, Political Economy, Political theory and Race and Decolonial studies, the position of African countries in relation to International Institutions like the IMF, World Bank, WTO, UN, ICC.

She has contributed to several books on international trade, international development, politics and feminist studies and is considered a leading exponent on the African Political Economy, International Trade and African development.

She has taught, worked and lived across 41 countries.

Daisy Arago
Executive Director
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights
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Daisy Arago is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)- an independent, non-profit NGO based in Quezon city, Philippines. CTUHR is engaged in documentation, investigation and monitoring of human rights of violations committed against workers, their families and urban poor, it is also involved in education, capacity building and advocacy.

Daisy is also the Focal Person of the Labour Program of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) based in Chiangmai, Thailand. Being in the human rights NGO and APWLD at the same time, Daisy gets the opportunity to work particularly with grassroots women in the region and gets to involve herself in different initiatives inside and outside the Philippines relating to transnational corporations, their operations and their impacts on communities particularly women.

Valeria Esquivel
Employment Policies and Gender Specialist
International Labour Office
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Valeria Esquivel is Employment Policies and Gender Specialist at the International Labour Office, based in Geneva. Her latest publications have focused primarily on care policies and care workers. She has co-authored the reports Innovations in Care: New Concepts, New Actors, New Policies (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2017) and Care work and care jobs for the future of decent work (ILO, 2018). She has also co-edited two Gender and Development issues, the first devoted to the Sustainable Development Goals (Vol. 24, No. 1, 2016) and the other to Beijing +25 (Vol.28, No. 2, 2020). Her latest research focuses on the intersections of gender, employment and macroeconomics. She is currently studying the gender employment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim at proposing and supporting the implementation of gender-responsive employment policies.

Valeria is member of the Board of IAFFE (International Association for Feminist Economics), is Associate Editor for Feminist Economics and is member of the Editorial Advisory Group of Gender and Development.

Helene Davis Whyte
Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions
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Helene Davis Whyte is at present President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) and General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers. She is a trade unionist with close on 40 years involvement in the trade union movement.

Mrs Davis Whyte is a proponent of the social dialogue approach to governance and is therefore integrally involved in many social partnership institutions in Jamaica, including the National Partnership Council and the Labour Advisory Council. She is also Co Chair of the Local and Regional Government Steering Group of the Caribbean Sub region of Public Services International (PSI) and has represented PSI and the JCTU at several international and Regional fora and conferences.

Maya Trotz
University of South Florida
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Dr. Maya Trotz is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. She directs STRONG Coasts, a National Research Traineeship program to foster food, energy, and water solutions with coastal communities, and leads the knowledge management component of a Green Climate Fund project, Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados.

She is Guyanese born and the past President of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors and a board member of Fragments of Hope Corp, a coral restoration NGO in Belize. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.

Roberta Clarke
Barbados Population Commission
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Roberta Clarke is the Chair of the Barbados Population Commission, the Executive Committee, International Commission of Jurists, and the Coalition against Domestic Violence, Trinidad and Tobago.

Roberta is an activist for social justice and gender equality. She is the former head of UN Women Offices in East and Southern Africa, Libya Programme, the Asia Pacific region and the Caribbean. She is lawyer and extensively engaged in civil society.

Rebeca Grynspan
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Rebeca Grynspan, of Costa Rica, became UNCTAD's eighth Secretary-General on 13 September 2021 and is the first woman to lead the organization.

Prior to her UNCTAD appointment, she was the Ibero-American secretary-general from 2014 to 2021, also the first woman to head the organization. During her mandate, she has coordinated the 22-member Iberoamerican Conference and led four key summits of Heads of State and Government. 

In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and prior to that was UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs, and Deputy Minister of Finance. In 2021 she was named Special International Advisor to the newly created Economic and Social Council of Argentina and invited to join as member of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

In addition to her experience as a lecturer and advisor to several international organizations, she has been actively involved in key United Nations initiatives, such as the Millennium Project's Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and the High-level Panel on Financing for Development.  

In 2014 and 2015, she was recognized as one of the 50 leading intellectuals of Latin America.  And she was recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in Central America by Forbes magazine.

Ms Grynspan holds a degree in Economics by the University of Costa Rica and a MSc in Economics by the University of Sussex. She has been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Salamanca, the University of Extremadura and the European University of Madrid in recognition of her outstanding professional achievements. 

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