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“Universal childcare access does not mean government has to do everything or that it has to be free of cost, it has to be affordable for parents and the most vulnerable of parents e.g., a single mother who is receiving public assistance."
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This inaugural issue of the Caribbean Regional Spotlight Initiative Newsletter highlights foundational elements established so far to ensure the success of the regional programme.
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UN Women MCO-Caribbean is supporting the Ministry of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development in Antigua and Barbuda, with the development of a database of beneficiaries for the country's main cash transfer programme for households living in poverty - the "Board of Guardians" programme.
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Under a joint UN programme, UN Women, UNICEF and the OECS Commission are supporting national budget directors and finance officers from the Eastern Caribbean in conducting the gender analysis to design and cost measures, the outcome of which are budgets that are child and gender responsive.
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Building on the lessons learned from its pilot work with rural women small farmers and decent work interventions with Caribbean domestic workers, the MCO Caribbean is broadening its partnerships to address the economic vulnerability of poor rural women-headed households.
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Marking the 2012 observance of International Human Rights Day, Caribbean domestic workers pressed for official recognition of domestic work as valid work alongside other categories of work. A milestone they hope to achieve by the time another international day wends around - International Women’s Day in March 2013 - if not sooner.
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UN initiated gender and child assessments of Country Poverty Assessments of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the British Virgin Islands, the final results of which will be available in a few weeks, will further enrich the evidence base to inform gender and child responsive social policies in the sub region.
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The call is being made for a more comprehensive approach to social safety nets in the region to ensure that they meets the needs of those in most need and position these beneficiaries to move towards self-reliance and out of poverty.