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Ryancia Henry is originally from Antigua and Barbuda, she moved four months ago to Montecito, California, to take up the position of Director of Housekeeping, managing a team of 60 people, at a hotel that has now closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. With international travel disrupted, and movement restrictions within the United States of America, Ryancia is among millions of workers in the hospitality industry considering what the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on her, her staff, her family and her friends.
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During a four-country visit in the Caribbean region from 18 to 23 May, the UN Women Executive Board discussed measures to improve court processes to assist survivors of gender-based violence; observed initiatives at work to identify and mitigate the gendered risks of natural disasters; and emphasized their support towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Ruth Spencer, GEF/SGP National Coordinator from Antigua connects with people everywhere she goes—in the market, in church, at the parking lot or in the halls of the United Nations. She builds networks and capacity of local community groups through education, training, resource mobilization and partnership-building, especially for climate action. Recently, she has set up a network of local groups and individuals in the island of Antigua and Barbados to promote sustainable waste management. As a participant in a workshop on gender-responsive global biodiversity framework, she spoke to UN Women about women’s conservation efforts.
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Nearly a year ago, catastrophic hurricanes devastated the Caribbean. After Hurricane Irma, almost the entire population of Barbuda, a small island in the eastern Caribbean, was driven to its twin island of Antigua. In Dominica, Hurricane Maria wiped out crops, equipment and infrastructure. In efforts to ensure that women both benefit from, and lend their expertise to the humanitarian response in the Caribbean, UN Women has been working with partners in the immediate aftermath of the storms and beyond.
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As the hurricane season ends in the Caribbean, and three months since Hurricane Irma caused the entire island of Barbuda to evacuate, Farmala Jacobs, Acting Executive Director of the Directorate of Gender Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda says the devastating hurricanes across the Caribbean this year show that we can no longer afford to leave anyone behind, and most certainly not women and girls.
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UN Women and UNFPA fast track funds to Antigua and Barbuda to help women and girls