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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.
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.
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!”
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.