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Women and girls around the world are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and disaster response. In solemn recognition of this reality, the United Nations, under the lead of UN Women, commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022, with the theme, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” This year, we are highlighting the impacts of global warming on women and girls right here on our Caribbean home and recognizing their outstanding contributions in the response to and fight against climate change.
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In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence”.
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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!”