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    HomeLifestyleShauna Fuller Clarke grateful for The Distinguished honour | Lifestyle

    Shauna Fuller Clarke grateful for The Distinguished honour | Lifestyle

    Looking royal and radiant in purple, a joyful Shauna Fuller Clarke gracefully walked across the stage Monday evening to receive her award for her contribution to health in Jamaica during The Distinguished awards gala hosted by one of Jamaica’s longest-running women-focused magazines – Flair.

    Though she is not too shy to tell that she is not a medical professional, it is undeniable that her work in endometriosis awareness, through her non-profit organisation Better Awareness and Support for Endometriosis (BASE), has made her eligible to be included among the ranks of those who have made indelible contributions to the continued development of health and wellness on the island, especially as it relates to women.

    Speaking with The Gleaner after she collected her award, she expressed gratitude for the acknowledgement of her work and congratulated and recognised women who work assiduously in the background for the benefit of others.

    “It is such an incredible honour to be a recipient alongside women who I know are pioneers, paving the way in their fields, and to be recognised as that person, it means a lot. Sometimes as women, we forget to pause and recognise the work that we are doing, sometimes we forget the work that we are doing so it means a lot that Flair thought it fit to award me for the work I am doing especially in the field of endometriosis awareness, which is something we do not speak enough about in Jamaica,” she said.

    The Distinguished awards gala was sponsored by Mastercard, Scotia Investments, JAM-DEX, Port Authority of Jamaica, S Hotel, ATL Automotive, Sygnus, Grace Foods, Key Insurance, DRT Communications Limited, Dynamic Events, MoBay City Run, Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, Royalton, Baileys, Massy Distribution, Lifespan, Hema Luxe, P.A. Benjamin, Wendy’s, CPJ, Flow, In Good Company, British Caribbean Insurance Company and The Jamaica Pegasus.

    Fuller Clarke and her small team have been operating BASE for a decade and are responsible for championing the state to recognise March as Endometriosis Awareness Month. According to her, this move was necessary because it meant organisations across the island would note its prominence and place more attention on it. An advocate by nature, and as someone who has been living with endometriosis, she is dedicated to speaking out on issues that affect women, and it is for this reason she is in full support of the fight for the Government to sanction menstrual leave.

    “As a woman who suffers from a chronic disease, I 100 per cent support menstrual leave. Women are very uniquely built and we experience things that men do not experience, and in the workplace I seek equity. So, there are cases where women with endometriosis or any other pelvic condition might not be able to function one to two times a month and this is the reality. Why are they going to be at work if they cannot function? Or, if they are at work and they are on pain meds and not even thinking straight,” she told Lifestyle.

    “We are in an era where as leaders, as managers, we need to think about how we care for our staff generally. We are in an era where there is work from home, remote work, hybrid work, flexi-work weeks, why can’t we have menstrual leave, and if that is rubbing your corn too much, why yuh cyaa have flexi work or work from home,” Fuller Clarke said further.

    But even as she puts her efforts and words into backing other causes, she shared that there is still more to be done as it relates to endometriosis specifically. According to her, the work has not been easy, but it has been rewarding.

    “It was not an easy road because one, we are self-funded, and two, this is a disease that we do not speak about. We do not speak about periods, infertility issues, women’s organs, we do not talk about women’s health issues in this way. We spoke about the taboo of periods – painful periods, painful intercourse, we do not talk about it. So we have had potential sponsors saying that it is not a sexy disease to support, or some potential sponsors just don’t get it because they don’t see the Government doing anything, they have never heard about this before. It has been a grilling road, but it has been worth it based on who we have been able to help.”



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