The COVID-19 outbreak in Jamaica had more than 50% of the cases being women and many industries such as the hotel and call centres slowing their operations and terminating contracts of many Jamaican women and affecting their ability to earn.
The government then introduced stringent restriction methods such as community-wide quarantine and nationwide curfews to control the spread of COVID-19. These measures contributing to increased rates of domestic violence.
The government, private and social sectors embarked on many initiatives to provide immediate relief of food for poorer households but a strategic and long-term solution was necessary.
The Girls to Women Development Foundation understanding that addressing both the practical and strategic needs of women to solve domestic violence and loss of income was important. It was on this premise we sought funding from the European Union in Jamaica and implemented the Women Economic Empowerment Project.
The WE Empowerment Project targeted 15 women from a poor community outside the city. The women were trained in Entrepreneurship, Gender and Gender Based Violence. Each woman was given start-up capital to start their business ideas and make better life choices for themselves and their children.
COVID-19 brought it's challenges but also provided opportunities for resilience!