OAS helping women across the Caribbean to benefit from the digital economy
OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Kim Osborne
April 21, 2023

OAS helping women across the Caribbean to benefit from the digital economy

The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), is pursuing the empowerment of women to actively participate in and benefit from the digital economy. A release from the OAS said this is being done through the Economically Empowered Women for Equitable and Resilient Societies” (Women’s Economic Empowerment–WEE) project in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In addition to the six Organization of Eastern Caribbean States countries, the WEE Project, is also being implemented in the three countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras), and aims to build sustainable livelihoods of small-scale women entrepreneurs, as well as increase their capacity to digitize, build an online presence, and access financial services and international markets through e-commerce.

OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Kim Osborne said “The OAS is committed to working with member states to harness the power, energy, dedication, determination, diligence, and hard work of women to help them get to a place where they are driving their economic future.”

In recognition of International Women’s Day, 2023, Executive Secretary Osborne further stated, “We take the opportunity to wish all women across the Caribbean Happy International Women’s Day as we strive to build equitable and resilient societies. The contribution of women in the socio-economic development of our countries cannot be overstated and must be acknowledged recognized and embraced. When we operate within an equitable society, families, communities, livelihoods and economies are more sustainable.”

The Caribbean Project Manager, Lizra Fabien extending greetings to women on IWD, noted, “In furthering our commitment to the women of the region, we are advancing this initiative through regional and national teams of institutions that work specifically towards the sustainable development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and that support women economic empowerment”.

She said “ There are several objectives that we are working towards in this initiative; however, this year we are concentrating on building the capacity of our local institutions and MSMEs, supporting women MSMEs in becoming market ready and taking these market ready women to the international commerce space through our partnerships while leveraging our relationship with the diaspora”.

Fabien further said they are building an online clearing house which will provide women with information on tools for financial literacy and links to access financial products and services, as well as online training materials, best practices, and other online resources aimed at bridging the gap for women in the digital economy.

Women’s economic empowerment benefits the wider economy by reducing income inequality and promoting diversity and economic resilience, the OAS pointed out in its release. Economically empowered women can be powerful agents of change—driving stronger, sustainable economic growth, encouraging greater peace and security, and fostering cooperation. The potential of women to help build stronger and truly representative democracies by eliminating the barriers facing them cannot be overstated.

Addressing these barriers for women in the Caribbean is critical to ensuring that the region can reach its full economic potential and recover from the impact of increasingly complexed multi-hazards.