- About UWI
Strategic Area 1: Women, Gender and Caribbean Economies
The study of women and gender relations within the discipline of economics is seen as important to rethink Caribbean economics in a different way, either as a revised version of neoclassical economics, or as a deep critique to neoclassical economics; or to deconstruct and critique neoliberal economics that has dominated discourse and practice in Caribbean development. Gender inequality and the role of women in the economy are enriching factors for the intellectual development and critique of economics and will enhance the capacity for understanding and interrogating current societies and realities of diverse population group across the region.
Global crises, financial markets, unpaid care work, employment, growth, public policies, welfare state and social investments, institutions, health, climate change and the environment are all gendered and shaped by power and governance. This, from the standpoint of economics is undertheorized and analyzed in the Caribbean in recent years. Additionally, in looking at Caribbean economics from a gender perspective, it is important to examine the role of slavery and colonialism in shaping Caribbean economies, foreign policy engagement and the current location and access in the global economy. Thus we can embrace a broader intersectional concept of gender that includes race, class, sexuality, disability, age, care, and other socio-economic conditions.
This strategic area proposes a deep analysis of gender relations and the status of women in the economic domain, specifically around the areas of economic inequality, financial markets, unpaid care work, and women’s empowerment. This focus also wishes to address the need for examining and critiquing the neoliberal model of economic development that prevails in most Caribbean societies.
Strategic Area 2: Gender in Policy Development and Advocacy
Through technical partnerships that are based on the current technical capacity of WAND, in the provision technical support/expertise to NGOs and Government agencies in the area of policy development that enhances women’s empowerment and youth development. These technical partnerships can: increase awareness at all levels of government of the importance of gender and women’s empowerment as organizing principles; facilitate the development and assessment of policies and regulatory frameworks so that they will have intended and equitable results for women and men, girls and boys.
Strategic Area 3: Women’s Rights and Regional and Global Activism via Social Media
Cyber-feminism and social media activism continues to play an active role in highlighting social injustice in its various forms be it – racism, sexism, child abuse, homophobia and gender-based violence, among others. Movements such as the #LifeInLeggings in Barbados and #SayHisName in Jamaica, the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter in the USA; have all played a substantial role in inciting public discourse, awareness of the intersectionality of gender injustice, including violence against women and girls, police brutality, child displacement; and racial discrimination. WAND’s current capacity can support social media partnerships with local groups such as the B-GLAD, #LifeInLeggings and #NoneInThree and the Tambourine Army that may bring about further discourse with wider audiences through paid and sponsored content; which can prove fruitful in expanding the existing movements. This strategic area can also actively seek participation in social media activism and to find innovative ways to manifest tangible initiatives in community outreach and academic discourse on the need for social justice in development.
Strategic Area 4: Institutional Strengthening and Empowerment
WAND physical and technology infrastructure is in need of upgrade and improvement. As a unit of the UWI OC, and in keeping with WAND’s objective to become a hub for online learning in Gender and Development for the Caribbean and wider world, the preference is to digitize its library collection and convert the physical library space into a multipurpose room that is fully equipped with computers and audio-visual equipment to facilitate webinars and online meetings. Immediate to short-term needs. There is need for resource mobilization and partnerships with other departments of the University as well as with the private sector to strengthen WAND institutionally.