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Oct 28, 2010

Women in Politics

The statistics do not look good for women in politics. For starters, there currently is not a single woman in Cabinet and the few at the municipal level have taken a packing in the hurly burly of politics. Only a handful has made it all the way to the top, but the National Women’s Commission says it wants to change that.  Following up on a project known as Women in Politics, the Commission today launched another round of training for more than twenty women who are interested in being part of a crowded male dominated field. News Five’s Delahnie Bain was at this morning’s open of WIP.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

After a successful first run, the National Women’s Commission today launched Cohort II of the Women in Politics Project. It’s a training course intended to prepare women to enter electoral politics, an area that has always been male dominated.

ann-marie Williams

Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director, National Women’s Commission

“Twenty-four Belizean women from all over the country, from as close as Belize City to as far as Toledo will get the unique opportunity to actually be trained for twelve to thirteen weeks on issues that are germane to politics and national development; not necessarily to train them to become politicians but more to offer them an exposure and confidence level so when the opportunity come they feel like they are prepared to take on the challenges of being a politician.”

Some of the participants spoke about their interest in politics and the course, despite the inevitable challenges.

Shari Williams-Cadle, Participant, Women In Politics Project

Shari Williams-Cadle

“I think most women out there at some point are interested in politics; perhaps not being in the forefront or being in the leadership position, but a lot of women are the chief cook and bottle washers as Ann-Marie put it. A lot of woman are the ship captains, they are the campaigners and a lot of women are advisers to some of the men candidates who are out there. So, you know, why not have the women in these positions?”

sharon Mckay

Sharon McKay, Participant, Women In Politics Project

“My participation is twofold. One, as an educator at a high school and I teach Social Studies, I think that being a participant here I could motivate my students to become politicians, especially females. And secondly, I believe that I have the integrity and one day I could become a politician.”

Jacqueline Willoughby Sanchez, Participant, Women In Politics Project

“For me it’s just a broadening. As I’m sure you all know, I’m very much involved with the leadership and politics in our country and people tend to think that when you talk about politics, you are referring to partisan politics. But everything you do is political. So for me it’s just a broadening; I like to have all the spectrums of the political arena.”

And how do these women feel about working competing in “the man’s world”?

Shari Williams-Cadle

“I believe it’s true we’re living in a man’s world, but I feel as if though women are leader in their own right. We have a lot of women who are leaders in their own right, leaders in their home; they are leaders in a lot of the NGO’s that are out there. So, no I’m not intimidated by them.”

Sharon McKay

“I believe that young people today they can see what is happening, they are more educated and somehow I believe that they will know the difference between people who are working and people who are not working. So I’m not afraid of that.”

Jacqueline Willoughby Sanchez

jacqueline Willoughby Sanchez

“Your general life as a woman is a stereotype. To that I say you must know where you stand and know your strength and move from there. I’m not at all intimidated.  This program is important because it doesn’t train one or two, it trains a critical mass and it’s across political lines. We’re not interested if you vote blue or red or orange, it doesn’t matter. We’re saying that women are good for politics and they’re good development, hence it’s good for Belize.”

Both the facilitators and participants are hoping for an outcome as successful as Cohort I. Of the first fifty-three participants, forty-seven graduated and four have since been elected as village councilors. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

At today’s opening of WIP Cohort II, a revised version of the book Women in Politics was also launched.

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3 Responses for “Women in Politics”

  1. Junito says:

    Hahahahah why is Zenaida there? as an example of what not to be or do?

  2. blvnjah says:

    GOOD LUCK WOMEN, THE MEN HAVE FAILED THE COUNTRY.

    YOU GUYS ARE MOST TIMES THE BACKBONE AND OUR STRENGHT ANYWAY…STEP UP AND TAKE YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE.

    GOOD POINT…JUNITO. BUT JUST KEEP IN MIND SHE IS ONLY 1 OF MANY WOMEN OUT THERE AND SHE IS BY FAR, NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THAT MAJORITY.

    ALSO THE MAJORITY OF THE MEN WE HAVE ELECTED OVER THE YEARS HAVE DONE 10 TIMES, 100 TIMES WORSE THAN ZENAIDA, YET WE KEEP VOTING THEM BACK IN.

  3. rootsman says:

    Let’s just hope that Zenaida is not going to be one of the trainers but instead is there so that she also can learn how to be a good leader.

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