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May 20, 2003

Women’s Commission inducts new members

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They make up approximately half the population, two thirds of our university graduates and comprise an increasing proportion of key professions. But despite these material advancements, women remain particularly vulnerable in Belizean society…and that’s why government maintains a special interest in their welfare. Jacqueline Woods reports.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

This evening, the National Women’s Commission, which advises Government on issues related to women, officially welcomed twenty-five women and one man as its members. The new commissioners will have the responsibility of monitoring the status of women in Belize.

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Chair, Natl. Women’s Commission

“To make sure that the condition of women is looked at, and that gender issues are kept at the forefront. And also, as you know, we have a new Women’s Agenda for the next term of government, and in addition there is the National Gender Policy. So we want to build on the proud accomplishments of the last administration and there are quite a few.”

Ambassador and Special Envoy for Children, Gender Issues and HIV/AIDS, Dolores Balderamos Garcia says although much work has been accomplished there are still measures that need to be taken to ensure that there is equity and justice for all women.

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

“I think even in the most advanced countries of the world where you find almost forty to fifty percent of women represented in government and at the highest levels of decision making, you still have built into the system, some kinds of disadvantages that women experience.”

“We feel that even though at the university level you have sixty to sixty-two percent of women going to U.B., that doesn’t necessarily mean that women have necessarily arrived. But again, we will not be going wholly and solely into only the women’s issues, we have to look at gender issues as well, including the young men at risk.”

The new commissioners come from a wide cross section of society including attorneys, medical doctors, the church, nursing and education communities. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Special guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Carla Barnett, former Deputy Secretary of CARICOM and the present advisor to the Cooperation Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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