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From where I stand: “The work to end violence against women and girls in the Caribbean is an immense challenge. It takes partnership, a love for people and a want for positive change.”
Phylicia Alexander Lavia is the Foundress & Executive Director of Red Root SVG, a nonprofit in her home country of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. Phylicia is a gender-based violence survivor and activist who advocates for the empowerment & support of underserved women, LGBTQ+ communities & children.
During a four-country visit in the Caribbean region from 18 to 23 May, the UN Women Executive Board discussed measures to improve court processes to assist survivors of gender-based violence; observed initiatives at work to identify and mitigate the gendered risks of natural disasters; and emphasized their support towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the occasion of the beginning of the 16 days of activism and the commemoration of November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the regional offices of UN Women, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization, presented a flagship program for the eradication of child marriage.
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!”