Ann-Marie Williams, Deputy Programme Manager, Gender and Development, CARICOM Secretariat.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Sixteen women who are survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) will receive grant awards with the support of the Caribbean Community CARICOM Secretariat, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Spotlight Initiative, according to a press release from the CARICOM Secretariat.
The project, titled “Upskilling GBV Survivors with Economic Empowerment and Personal Development Skills as a Means of Ensuring that These Women Live Lives Free of Violence”, is funded by UNDP under the Regional Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Programme. The Regional Programme is part of the Global Spotlight Initiative, which is the European Union’s groundbreaking investment of 500 million euros to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, the release states.
The Economic Empowerment Project is being implemented by the CARICOM Secretariat Gender and Development Programme in partnership with the National Gender Affairs Directorates of Dominica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
According to Ann-Marie Williams, Deputy Programme Manager, Gender and Development, CARICOM Secretariat, “The Secretariat embarked on the project to give survivors of GBV a second chance and a greater opportunity to improve their livelihood.”
She explained that the project includes a virtual capacity-building workshop for 35 women survivors. Of this number, 16 who are ready to become entrepreneurs will be awarded grants via a business incubator phase, which will support them with practical tools to become entrepreneurs, including developing a business plan, financial literacy and digital skills to improve their marketing when they open their new businesses.
The virtual training supports the socio-economic integration or reintegration of a cross-section of women survivors in three Member States: Dominica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. “The training process is an empowerment strategy to help women strengthen their economic independence to make sustainable business decisions on their own and to set them on a path towards living lives free of violence,” stated Williams.
The grant awards presentation forms part of the CARICOM Secretariat’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, observed from November 25 to December 10, under the theme: “Unite! Invest to End Violence Against Women and Girls!” the release concludes.