The Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean project today announced the 27 women’s rights organizations from eight CARICOM countries that will benefit from CAD$4.8 million that Canada has committed to support the efforts of women’s rights organizations in the region.
The selection of the new grantees is the result of a highly spirited and inclusive process launched in March 2020 by Canada’s partners, the Equality Fund and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, with the support of feminist leaders from across the Caribbean. Over 70 applications from women’s organizations were received. The selected grantees are from eight countries in the Caribbean—Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Guyana, Saint Lucia, and Suriname—and will be awarded a total of CAD$1,174,058 over the next three years.
The Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean initiative supports grassroots organizations that advance women’s rights in the Caribbean region, particularly those working with vulnerable and marginalized women and girls, including LBTIQ communities. Canada’s assistance will improve the capacity of women’s rights organizations to deliver programs, promote women’s rights, and advocate for changes in laws, attitudes and behaviours to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region.
Nine women’s rights organizations were selected in the Eastern Caribbean: three in Antigua and Barbuda, one in Dominica, one in Grenada, and four in St. Lucia. In Antigua and Barbuda, grantees include: the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL); Integrated Health Outreach; and Intersect. The Dominica Planned Parenthood Association in Dominica and Sweet Water Foundation in Grenada will also be supported. In St. Lucia, grantees include: Helen’s Daughters; Girls of a Feather; Raise Your Voice St. Lucia; and LEZ Connect.
“Through these grants, we will be able to actively pursue gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the most practical way possible. The organizations whose work Canada will support know exactly the realities on the ground for women and girls and how to achieve change. The Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean initiative is an example of Canada’s firm commitment to strengthening women’s organizations as fundamental players in realizing women’s empowerment and in promoting and protecting their human rights.” – Marie Legault, High Commissioner of Canada in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
In congratulating the grantees, the implementing partners of the project said, “We are honored to be working with each of these 27 organizations that are leading the advancement of women’s and LBTIQ rights and gender equality in the Caribbean.” – Jessica Tomlin, Co-CEO, Equality Fund.
“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 organizations from around the region that represent the heart of Caribbean feminism.” – Amina Doherty, Director, Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean, Equality Fund
“Astraea is excited to partner with the Equality Fund and Canada as it presents a unique opportunity for us to deepen support of LBTIQ organizations in the region, while engaging in a thoughtful approach guided by our shared Feminist Funding Principles and practices.” – Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, Director, Global Human Rights Initiative, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
About the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program
In June 2017, Canada launched the global Women’s Voice and Leadership Program as part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy. Canada committed to allocating CAD$150 million over five years to respond to needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries that are working to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality.