16 Survivors of Gender-Based Violence to Receive CARICOM Grant Awards

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Sixteen (16) women who are survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) will receive grant awards with the support of the CARICOM Secretariat, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Spotlight Initiative.

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 Euros 500M to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

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, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

According to Ms 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 (3) Member States: Dominica, Saint 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 Ms Williams.

The grant awards presentation forms part of the CARICOM Secretariat’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Campaign, observed from 25 November to 10 December 2023 under the theme: “Unite! Invest to End Violence Against Women and Girls!”

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