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To support the women farmers during this crisis, UN Women has re-oriented its project, which initially intended to establish a seed bank to guard against future disasters. The project will now temporarily pivot to connect farmers to new outlets and market opportunities.
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Nearly a year ago, catastrophic hurricanes devastated the Caribbean. After Hurricane Irma, almost the entire population of Barbuda, a small island in the eastern Caribbean, was driven to its twin island of Antigua. In Dominica, Hurricane Maria wiped out crops, equipment and infrastructure. In efforts to ensure that women both benefit from, and lend their expertise to the humanitarian response in the Caribbean, UN Women has been working with partners in the immediate aftermath of the storms and beyond.
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Six months on, since the Category 5 hurricane battered the small island nation, UN Women assessment shows what women want is assistance to get back on their feet and back to work, not handouts.
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Birthed from a desire to reunite their country which had been torn apart by civil war, the women of Rwanda began the journey of reconciliation. It was this early commitment to work together which they attribute to the country leading the world in women’s representation in Parliament.
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She was brought up by a single mother in rural Jamaica, in a family of modest means. Today she is the Commanding Officer of Jamaica’s Coast Guard, the first woman to attain the prestigious position in the island state, as well as the entire Caribbean region. Commander Antonette Wemyss-Gorman learnt early in life never to accept ‘no’ for an answer. Her mantra: “I can do that!”
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Often totally dependent on rainfall for irrigation, battling increasingly longer droughts and intense bursts when the rain does come, Caribbean women farmers are looking to more sustainable means of crop production.