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Nov 26, 2018

UWI Hosts Panel Discussion on Gender Based Violence

Jane Bennett

The annual sixteen days of activism was launched in Belize City last Friday, under the theme, “#HearMeToo – End Violence against Women and Girls!” As part of the global campaign, the University of the West Indies Open Campus today hosted a panel discussion for at its auditorium in Belize City. Held in collaboration with the National Women’s Commission and the Women’s Department, the forum, which brought together persons from various walks of life, focused on Gender Based Violence. At the head table were Jenny Lovell, Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett and Anita Zetina. All provided a unique perspective on the issue in terms of the psychological state of victims, the response by law-enforcement and the social aspect of gender based violence.


Jane Bennett, Head, UWI Open Campus

“It begins with self; you have to take care of yourself because nobody else will and with no discrimination, women are socialized to be caretakers and caregivers of siblings, parents and so on. But not socialized in taking care of themselves. I thought it very prudent to bring in not only a male, but from the enforcement and his topic was law enforcement response to gender based violence. And he brought some good statistics and some of the examples of kind of the cases that come through the police department and how they have to respond to these things in different ways depending on the law and some of the constraints that the police have. Again, very informative. And then the third panellist was Miss Anita Zetina; she is no stranger to our community—she as the head of the Women’s Department for a long time. And I liked her topic which was kind of a teaser: gender based violence—unfinished business and I wondered what she would be presented on. But what she did was go through the process of how gender based violence is plagued in our society and we have couple of recent cases that everybody knows about and it is very glaring. It says we are doing something wrong and it starts again on how we socialize boys and girls.”

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