Across Bahamas, Neighbors Gather to Address Gender-Based Violence

In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), PADF organized four events in the Bahamas to eliminate gender-based violence. The events gathered neighbors, police, and community leaders to discuss the most pressing issues related to gender-based violence. Convening together allowed neighbors to speak up - in some cases for the first time - about issues that have largely been accepted as a cultural norm.

The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response. Pervading gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.

The discussions did not exclusively focus on violence against women. The victims of gender-based violence, as it was pointed out, can be men as well.

Attendees broke off into groups to discuss prevalent issues.

Attendees broke off into groups to discuss prevalent issues.


Intolerable Global Facts on Gender-Based Violence:

  • In developing countries, only half of women aged 15-49 make their own decisions about consensual sex or use of contraceptives.
  • In 2012, half of all female victims of intentional homicide were killed by an intimate partner or family member.
  • Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict
    Source: UN

After recording the most pressing issues and potential solutions, each group presented their findings.

After recording the most pressing issues and potential solutions, each group presented their findings.

Achieving violence-free households and communities will require intentional efforts and cooperation from civil society, governments, and police authorities.

“By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence," said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. "Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”

Events took place in Cat Island, Exuma Island, Long Island, and New Providence Island during the second week of December, 2017.

More Bahamas News

Local Leaders, Community Members to Unite in Conferences Against Gender Violence

#16days, #OrangeTheWorld, #EndGBV

Nassau, Bahamas (December 5, 2017) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is hosting four events in the Bahamas to combat gender based violence with funds from the U.S. Government.

The events seek to unite local police, raise awareness and discuss issues surrounding violence against women and girls. Gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development. The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response.

“Violence against women plagues communities in the Bahamas,” said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. “By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence. Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”

The events are part of the Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND), an 18-month project which seeks to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, the justice sector and communities to respond to and prevent gender based violence in the Bahamas.

PADF will hold conferences in Nassau, Exuma, Long Island and Cat Island, coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW). This year, the IDEVAW campaign focuses on “Leaving no one Behind,” especially women and girls who are underserved and marginalized, including victims of disaster and conflict.

“Violence against women is a global problem,” said Penny Rechkemmer, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their own communities. We are also committed to providing nonprofits in the Bahamas with the information needed to succeed and grow.”

All events are free. Registration is required. To participate, please e-mail wind@padf.org.

Conference Schedule:

Nassau, New Providence
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
9:00 am - 3:15 pm. Registration starts at 8:30 am
The Paul Farquharson Center

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
The Resource Center
George Town

Long Island
Friday, December 8, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
Community Center
Clarence Town Long Island

Cat Island
Saturday, December 9, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 8:30am
Knowles Media Center  

About PADF

The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. In the last decade, PADF has reached more than 92 million people, investing over $600 million in development resources throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.padf.org.

Royal Bahamas Female Police Participates in Non-Violence Seminar

royal bahamas female police.jpg

This story was originally published on royalbahamaspolice.org.

On Friday 1st September, 2017, female officers of the Force participated in a Women's Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) Seminar held at the Paul Farquharson Conference Center at Police Headquarters. 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), one in three women will experience domestic violence globally, and the caribbean islands has an even higher rate of sexual violence than the global average, but with support from the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the officers were given information about gender base violence (GBV) and how to deal with it. 

Lecturers for the seminar included Gaynell Curry; Director of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, 
and Ms. Ayla Roberts and Ms. Lelia Green from The Crisis Center. 

Bringing remarks from the RBPF were Assistant Commissioner of Police Mrs. Ismela Davis-Delancy, Father Stephen Davies Force Chaplin and Detective Superintendent Shanta Knowles (CDU). 

Project coordinator was Ms Latara Evans of the Pan American Development Fund (PADF) Country Project.

Young Goiás Women to Become Entrepreneurs in New Empowerment Project

The project is known as "Meninas Super Empreendedoras" in Brazil.

The project is known as "Meninas Super Empreendedoras" in Brazil.

Leia em português.

Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil (August 21, 2017) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), in cooperation with the Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) of Goiás state, the State Secretary of Health’s Executive Group on Drugs (GEED), and the Pró-Cerrado Foundation, is holding a public event to launch a new project, Women Power! (WOMP!), which will empower young women in the region of Goiânia and Aparecida de Goiânia to improve their economic situations and well-being through entrepreneurship.

The event will be held at 2pm on August 24 at the Mauro Borges Auditorium in the Pedro Ludovico Palace in Goiânia’s Civic Plaza, attended by project participants, local leaders, and authorities. Directly following the kickoff event, 150 young women will attend the project’s first seminar on innovation and motivation.

“In Brazil, women do not have the same opportunities as men and frequently earn less than their male counterparts,” said Paulo Cavalcanti, PADF’s Country Representative in Brazil. “Many want brighter futures but they are particularly disadvantaged.”

Gender inequality in Brazil is a vast problem, evidenced by violence against women and disproportionate income between genders. The outlook is particularly grim for women of color, who are most likely to be poor and distanced from the levers of power. In Goiás, women’s income is only 70% of men’s. It is especially challenging for women to find business opportunities in non-traditional fields for women such as digital technology.

“We’re excited to have designed a program that allows young women to thrive by creating small businesses,” said Cavalcanti. “The best response to gender inequality is to empower young women.”

Young women in the WOMP! program will participate in seminars on confidence and self-esteem, complete an 80-hour entrepreneurship training program, and establish mentoring relationships with successful businesswomen to implement individual business plans. Upon completing the program, they will be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and support to start small businesses.

“This is a great opportunity for young women to become entrepreneurial women capable of deciding their own future,” said Cavalcanti, “generating economic wealth for their families, and improving their quality of life.”

PADF is proud to partner with local organizations to implement the project. SEBRAE is an autonomous Brazilian institution that fosters the development of entrepreneurship and small enterprises. GEED is a specialized agency under the State Secretary of Health that coordinates public policy on drugs in Goiás. The Pró-Cerrado Foundation is a youth-focused organization that works with the private, public, and non-profit sectors to prevent school violence and dropouts, generate income and employment, and foster human development.

PADF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States that works to assist vulnerable and excluded people and communities in the Americas to achieve sustainable economic and social progress. PADF has worked in Brazil for more than a decade to promote environmental protection, increase health care access for vulnerable populations, and support local organizations.

Media contact:
Paulo Cavalcanti
PADF Country Representative, Brazil
55+61 3329.6006

Chris Wooley
Program Manager
+1 (202) 458-3350

PADF on Twitter: @PADForg
PADF on Facebook: facebook.com/PADForg

As Meninas Super Empreendedoras

Card Meninas Superempreendedoras.jpg

Read in English.

Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil (21 de agosto de 2017) - A Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (PADF), em cooperação com o Serviço de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas (SEBRAE) do Estado de Goiás, o Grupo Executivo de Enfrentamento as Drogas (GEED) e a Fundação Pró-Cerrado, realiza um evento público para lançar um novo projeto, Meninas Super Empreendedoras, que capacitará mulheres jovens na região de Goiânia e Aparecida de Goiânia a melhorar sua situação econômica e seu bem-estar através do empreendedorismo.

O evento será realizado às 14 horas do dia 24 de agosto no Auditório Mauro Borges, no Palácio Pedro Ludovico, na Praça Cívica – centro de Goiânia e será assistido pelas participantes do projeto, líderes locais e autoridades. Como parte do evento inicial, 150 jovens mulheres participarão do primeiro seminário sobre inovação e motivação do projeto.

"No Brasil, as mulheres não têm as mesmas oportunidades que os homens e, com frequência, ganham menos do que homens em posições idênticas", afirmou Paulo Cavalcanti, representante da PADF no Brasil. "Muitas querem um futuro mais brilhante, mas são particularmente desfavorecidas".

A desigualdade de gênero no Brasil é um grande problema, evidenciado pela violência contra as mulheres e a renda desproporcional entre os gêneros. A perspectiva é particularmente sombria para as afrodescendentes, que são mais propensas a ser pobres e distanciadas dos altos níveis do poder. Em Goiás, a renda mensal das mulheres é de apenas 70% do que ganham os homens.

“É especialmente desafiante para as mulheres encontrarem oportunidades de negócios em campos não tradicionais para elas, como a tecnologia digital. Por isso estamos ansiosos por haver projetado um programa que permitirá que as mulheres jovens prosperem criando pequenas empresas", disse Cavalcanti. "A melhor resposta à desigualdade de gênero é capacitar mulheres jovens para que se tornem empresárias de futuro".

As mulheres jovens do programa Meninas Super Empreendedoras participarão de seminários sobre confiança e auto-estima, cumprirão um programa de treinamento empresarial de 80 horas e estabelecerão relacionamentos de mentorías com empresárias bem-sucedidas para implementar planos de negócios individuais. Ao concluir o programa, elas estarão preparadas com os conhecimentos, habilidades e o suporte necessário para iniciar pequenas empresas, além de terem uma nova visão para suas vidas.

"Esta é uma ótima oportunidade para essas jovens se tornarem empreendedoras capazes de decidir o seu próprio futuro", disse Cavalcanti, "gerando riqueza econômica para suas famílias e melhorando sua qualidade de vida".

A PADF tem orgulho de se associar com organizações locais para implementar esse projeto. O SEBRAE é uma instituição autônoma brasileira que promove o desenvolvimento do empreendedorismo e das pequenas empresas. O GEED é uma agência especializada da Secretaria de Estado da Saúde que coordena a política pública de enfrentamento as drogas em Goiás. A Fundação Pró-Cerrado é uma organização orientada para a juventude sem fins lucrativos e que trabalha com os setores publico e privado para prevenir a violência e o abandono escolar, gerar renda e emprego, além de promover o desenvolvimento humano.

A PADF é uma organização sem fins lucrativos 501(c)(3) afiliada à Organização dos Estados Americanos que trabalha para ajudar pessoas e comunidades vulneráveis excluídas nas Américas a alcançar um progresso econômico e social sustentável. A PADF trabalha no Brasil há mais de uma década para promover a proteção ao meio ambiente, responder a crises humanitárias e aos desastres naturais, aumentar o acesso aos cuidados de saúde para populações vulneráveis apoiar organizações locais.

Contato com a imprensa:
Paulo Cavalcanti
Representante do país PADF, Brasil

PADF no Facebook: @PADFbrasil, @PADForg
PADF no Twitter: /padfnobrasil,  /padforg

Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World

Dr. Tavneet Suri explained about mobile money, a new alternative to microfinance.

Dr. Tavneet Suri explained about mobile money, a new alternative to microfinance.

This morning, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing entitled “Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World” during which a panel of experts in the field of financial inclusion advocated for the economic empowerment of women worldwide. The witnesses called to testify before the Committee brought to the panel extensive professional experience in gender issues and development: Ms. Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking; Dr. Tavneet Suri, Professor of Economics at MIT; and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Each spoke to their specific area of expertise, but all three emphasized the drawbacks and limitations of microfinance—a financial mechanism once hailed as the silver bullet of development. The three panelists highlighted the findings of seven separate studies, each demonstrating that putting the world’s poorest populations in debt does not, in fact, lead to long-term, sustainable economic prosperity. Like anyone else, the recipients of microfinance loans have complex financial needs that necessitate multiple financial instruments for savings, insurance, and credit, among other things. 

Mobile money was repeatedly mentioned as an alternative to microfinance. It's a strategy that has begun revolutionizing the landscape of financial transactions across the developed and developing worlds alike. Programs that can send funds directly through a text message (like PayPal, but for basic, non-smartphones) create greater financial security through interactions within one’s own social network. For example, the mother of a child who has fallen ill can request money from relatives virtually, rather than cut back on basic necessities or pull her other children out of school to help work to fund the medical care. This method, unlike microfinance, is especially empowering and financially stabilizing for women. Though mobile money as a development strategy is a promising prospect, more research and evaluation is needed to fully understand its implications and effectiveness. 

Apart from the technical financial mechanisms discussed, the witnesses underscored the importance and value of incorporating women into the financial world. Women prioritize the family in financial spending: they spend 34% more than men on education, health, and other needs that improve the wellbeing of their children and their household. As such, solidifying a stable financial foundation for women can catalyze positive development across the spectrum, fostering greater stability within families and communities which, in turn, produces more peaceful and prosperous societies. 

International Women’s Day: PADF Programs Highlight Economic Empowerment

• Economically empowering women has a “ripple effect" on the community

• Examining the barriers to women’s economic empowerment

• Providing targeted support to women to create sustainable change

Washington, D.C., March 8, 2016 – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has been working to support women and girls throughout Latin America for five decades and is delighted to stand with this year’s International Women’s Day theme: Pledge for Parity. PADF seeks to narrow the gender gap by empowering women and girls through leadership training, social inclusion, education, and access to capital.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), women account for 51 percent of the population in the region, but only access 38 percent of the total income earned. PADF is working to improve those numbers and create sustainable economic prosperity.

“On International Women’s Day, we acknowledge that women are a driving force in their communities,” says Caterina Valero, PADF Senior Programs Director. “Providing girls and women with increased access to education, jobs, healthcare, and other services has a substantial ripple effect, improving not only individual quality of life, but also that of the surrounding community. We know that girls and women multiply the impact of investments by extending the benefits far beyond themselves. Given the right tools and support, working women can have a great impact on the economy.”

In Chile, PADF works with The Boeing Company and local partners Acción Emprendedora to provide training and consulting services to approximately 100 women. With support, they are empowered to expand their businesses, creating local jobs. PADF has run similar programs to train and encourage young women to start or expand their own businesses in Belize, where it has provided business planning training, mentorship, skill development and networking opportunities for at-risk youth, many of them young women.

The Foundation also oversees a program to assist more than 38,800 families in Colombia, many of them indigenous and AfroColombian women and children displaced by civil conflict. This includes providing psychosocial assistance and helps victims generate income and apply for bank credits and housing subsidies. María Deyanira García lost everything when she was forced to leave her home in Northwestern Colombia. Now she has returned to her home in the municipality of Granada and is building a new life. “I plan to buy a cow to start a small business to produce milk and cheese,” she says. 

In Haiti, PADF is partnering with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to fund and build the capacity of 11 women-led businesses, leveraging more than $10 million in private capital.

In Guatemala and Mexico, PADF has increased awareness of important issues affecting women, such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In a recent partnership with Merck, the Foundation worked with local health agencies in Colombia, Argentina and Mexico to gather data on maternal mortality. This led to the development of an online platform that informs national and regional policies in an effort to improve health care for millions of women. These important initiatives seek to help women stay healthy, strong and safe.

Through its programs, PADF takes a nuanced approach to combating inequality, assisting communities through targeted support to girls and women. We aim for women to come away from our programs with a new set of life skills that they can draw upon and pass on to their own daughters and friends. PADF is proud to stand in support and celebration of them this International Women’s Day.


Haiti Press Network | Cité Soleil: 60 Young Women Have the Tools for the Job Market (French)

Haiti Press Network | Cité Soleil: 60 Young Women Have the Tools for the Job Market (French)

Au terme de deux années d’études en Couture, cosmétologie, informatique, cuisine et pâtisserie au Centre de Formation Professionnel Phare de l’association de Femmes Ferventes de Cité Soleil, soixante étudiantes de la promotion « bouffée d’espoir » ont reçu leurs diplômes au cours d’une cérémonie