Canada partners with women's organisations across region

Canada partners with women's organisations across region

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Canadian High Commission in Jamaica today joined colleagues from across the region to host the launch of the Women's Voice and Leadership-Caribbean project.

With the announcement, 27 women's rights organisations from eight CARICOM countries will benefit from CDN$4.8 million that Canada has committed to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality.

Along with Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Suriname, women's rights organisations from Jamaica responded in great numbers to the call for proposals. The four grantees selected in Jamaica are:

• Eve for Life-provides support to adolescent girls and young women who are survivors of physical and sexual abuse; and to women and children living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.

• Jamaica Sex Worker Coalition- advocates for the recognition of fundamental human and worker's rights of sex workers in Jamaica, whilst empowering sex workers through the creation and sustaining an enabling environment.

• Women's Empowerment for Change (WE-Change) –seeks toincrease the participation of lesbians, bisexual, and transgender women in social justice advocacy in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

• Women's Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC)–provides outreach programmes, which focus on health and wellness, sustainable livelihoods, community capacity-building, and advocacy.

Speaking at the virtual launch today, High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Laurie Peters, spoke of Canada's commitment to to advancing gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and the promotion and protection of their human rights.

“The women's rights organisations and LBTIQ groups whose work the Women's Voice and Leadership Caribbean Project is supporting, know exactly the realities on the ground for women and girls and how to achieve change. Through this important funding, Canada reaffirms our commitment to strengthening women's organizations as highly accountable, fundamental players in realising women's empowerment and achieving equality for all,” she said.

In congratulating the grantees, the implementing partners of the project said,“Women's Voice and Leadership Caribbean provides a unique opportunity to support the Caribbean feminist movement through grant making, networking and alliance-building, and capacity-building. WVL-Caribbean is thrilled to be supporting such a diverse mix of organisations from around the region. From young feminists and LBTIQ activists working with technology and leading digital activism in countries such as Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Jamaica to established organisations in Guyana and Suriname promoting women's economic security in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, to Indigenous women's organisations in Belize focused on climate justice and resilient economies—these partners represent the heart of Caribbean feminism and is a true reflection of the state of the region,” saidAmina Doherty, Director, Women's Voice and Leadership Caribbean, Equality Fund.

Meanwhile, Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, director of Global Human Rights Initiative and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice“ said Astraea "is excited to partner with the Equality Fund and Canada as it presents a unique opportunity for us to deepen support of LBTIQ organisations in the region, while engaging in a thoughtful approach guided by our sharedFeminist Funding Principlesand practices.”

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