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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsOAS launches the women’s economic empowerment project

OAS launches the women’s economic empowerment project

WASHINGTON, USA – The Organization of American States (OAS), through its executive secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), kicked off this week the “Economically Empowered Women for Equitable and Resilient Societies” (Women’s Economic Empowerment–WEE) project in the three countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).

The WEE, which is also being implemented in six countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), aims to build the capacity of women-led small enterprises to digitize, build an online presence, and access financial services and international markets through e-commerce.

SEDI will implement the project with the funding support of the Permanent Mission of the United States to the OAS and Meta, and in partnership with the participating OAS member states, the Centro Regional de Promoción de la MIPYME (CENPROMYPE), and the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM). The initiative will benefit 18,000 women in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as in the OECS region.

During the virtual kick-off, OAS executive secretary for integral development, Kim Osborne said: “What we want to do is to work 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.” She also indicated that “if MSMEs do not digitize to actively do business in the digital and virtual economy they risk being left behind or becoming obsolete.”

In his remarks, the US interim permanent representative to the OAS, Thomas R. Hastings, said: “This project demonstrates our government’s continued support for partnerships that empower and advance women’s participation in the economy in the Americas and worldwide. Supporting and improving women’s participation in the formal economy benefits everyone. When women are empowered economically, they invest in their families and communities, which spurs economic growth and creates more stable societies.”

Meta’s policy programs and government outreach director in Latin America, Héctor Faya, said: “Meta has a long-term commitment to women’s economic empowerment, and we know that digital platforms represent a real lifeline for thousands of women-owned small businesses. Training them in digital technologies, including immersive ones like augmented reality, can increase their chances of success when starting a business. We will continue to work with the OAS, Central American governments and CENPROMYPE to make current and future technologies — like the metaverse — as inclusive as possible.”

The WEE project is part of SEDI’s continued commitment to produce tangible results and positive impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the citizens of the Americas.

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