CARICOM and UNDP Award Grants to 16 GBV Survivors for Economic Empowerment

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Ms Ann-Marie Williams, Deputy Programme Manager, Gender and Development, CARICOM Secretariat

Sixteen women, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), are set to receive grant awards through a collaborative effort by the CARICOM Secretariat, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), and the Spotlight Initiative. This initiative is part of the “Upskilling GBV Survivors with Economic Empowerment and Personal Development Skills as A Means of Ensuring That These Women Live Lives Free of Violence” project, financed by the UNDP under the Regional Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Programme. This program is an extension of the Global Spotlight Initiative, a major investment by the European Union to eradicate violence against women and girls.

The CARICOM Secretariat’s Gender and Development Programme, in partnership with the National Gender Affairs Directorates of Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, is implementing this Economic Empowerment Project. Ann-Marie Williams, Deputy Programme Manager of Gender and Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, emphasizes that the project aims to offer GBV survivors a second chance and improved opportunities for their livelihoods.

The project features a virtual capacity-building workshop for 35 women survivors, out of which 16 aspiring entrepreneurs will receive grants. This business incubator phase will equip them with essential entrepreneurial skills, including business plan development, financial literacy, and digital marketing skills for their new ventures.

The training is designed to facilitate the socio-economic integration or reintegration of these women in Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Williams notes that the training is an empowerment strategy, aimed at bolstering women’s economic independence, enabling them to make sustainable business decisions and paving the way for a life free from violence.

This grant award presentation is a part of the CARICOM Secretariat’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Campaign, which runs from 25 November to 10 December 2023. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Unite! Invest to End Violence Against Women and Girls!”

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