BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SC WH&W

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SC WH&W

Considering the importance of women in the global workforce, the great diversity of jobs they were involved in, and the prevalent working and labor conditions that in most parts of the world were perceived to be unequal and discriminative allowing emergent and re-emergent women’s health problems to increase, in June 2005 ICOH decided to organize a working group aiming to explore the breadth and the impact of such problems in the working communities around the world, with the expectation of creating a new SC that would follow and enhance research upon these issues.
1.   The beginning. The purpose of the Working Group was to gather information that would demonstrate the importance and assure the pertinence of creating a new scientific committee within ICOH. The SC would look forward to creating awareness, follow-up and promote research, disseminate and share information, and help finding solutions for problems concerning women, health and work, under the leadership of Prof. Janine Fannchette. Meetings were planned for identifying women’s problems at work, for prioritizing areas where ICOH could help through research work and other means, and for allowing the group to evaluate and make proposals, being that the main concern was health and well-being of women at work (Cantineau, 2005). The first step took place in a meeting in Strasbourg, France on September, 2005, where most experts on the field met and agreed in steps to follow; and a second was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in November 2005 (Rodriguez, J., 2005). The objectives were to identify working areas and prepare the organization of a Symposium that would be held during the ICOH 2006 Congress. In fact, is was during the ICOH Centennial World Congress held in June 2006, that Prof. Fanchette-Cantineau and Dr. Marilyn Fingerhut (ICOH Vice-president) co-chaired a Session on Women, Work and Health, where the participants were asked to vote, and they unanimously voted so that the Working Group would be elevated to the status of an ICOH Scientific Committee. historia1
2.   2. Leadership 2006-2009. Dr. Marilyn Fingerhut, acting VP of ICOH in those years, served as Chair of the Working Group during the first half of this Triennium 2006-2009. The recommendation to create de SC was considered by the ICOH’s Board and President, and finally it was approved during the Midterm Meeting held in Hamburg in March 2008. Following the Midterm Meeting, Prof. KaisaKauppinen and Prof. Athena Linos, assumed leadership as Co-Chairs of the Working Group whose results materialized in the organization of two sessions on women’s issues during the ICOH Cape Town 2009 Congress. historia2
3.   3. Launching the SCWHW. The WHW Scientific Committee was finally and formally launched in March 2009 during the last ICOH World Conference that took place in Cape Town, South Africa, with a total of 24 participants. The first elected Chair was Prof. KaisaKauppinen from Finland; and Prof.  Julietta Rodriguez Guzman from Colombia was elected first Secretary.historia3

Many were the activities carried out during the first triennium to make presence in many places of the world, recruit members and deliver the message of gender equity and mainstreaming. These you can see in the Triennium Final report. And one excellent achievement was the creation and launching of the SC Newsletter.

4.   In march 2012, after delivering the Final SC Report, new officers were elected. Prof. Kauppinen stepped down from the chair and Prof. Rodríguez Guzman, was elected as second chair of the SC. As well, Dr. Claudia De Hoyos from Argentina, was elected as Secretary. The two officers will deliver the results of the triennial work during the business meeting of the SC in Korea.