Announcing the Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean Grantee Partners

Gesiye Souza-Okpofabri

The Equality Fund and the Astraea Foundation are proud to announce our Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean (WVL-Caribbean) grantee partners.

After a comprehensive decision making process, which involved the Equality Fund and the Astraea Foundation’s teams, as well as advisors from across the Caribbean, 27 women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ groups from eight CARICOM countries—Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Suriname—were selected as WVL-Caribbean grantee partners.

A total of $1,174,058.00 CAD will be granted through multi-year grants to these new partners over the next three years. This funding is made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, in recognition of the significant resource gap faced by women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ organizations in the Caribbean—particularly now—in the context of COVID-19.

This group represents a diverse mix of organizations from around the region. The new grantee partners include emerging and longstanding organizations operating in both rural areas and urban settings—and represent young women, indigenous women, sex worker-led organizations, and the LBTIQ community.

All of these organizations are working at the intersections of a range of issues affecting the Caribbean region—including gender-based violence, economic justice, feminist leadership, LBTIQ rights, climate change, and others. In the words of Amina Doherty, Director of the WVL-Caribbean project:

Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean provides a unique opportunity to support the Caribbean feminist movement through grantmaking, networking and alliance-building, and capacity-building. WVL-Caribbean is thrilled to be supporting such a diverse mix of organizations 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 organizations in Guyana and Suriname promoting women’s economic security in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, to indigenous women’s organizations 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.

The selection of grantee partners within the WVL-Caribbean project is an opportunity to establish exciting new partnerships with Caribbean women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ groups, and to leave a lasting legacy for women’s and LBTIQ movements, while helping to build sustainability for the future. According to Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, Director of Global Human Rights Initiative at the Astraea Foundation:

Astraea is excited to partner with the Equality Fund and Global Affairs 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.

We are honoured 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, and invite you to learn more about their extraordinary work here. In the words of Jess Tomlin, Co-CEO of the Equality Fund:

We are excited to collaborate with the Government of Canada on this groundbreaking initiative—one that truly embodies the spirit of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, brings much needed resources to the Caribbean, and invests in the crucial work of activists and movement builders throughout the region.

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