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Oct 20, 2011

Women with Interest in Politics get trained

The third cohort of the women in politics project kicked off today at the Whitfield Tower on Coney Drive. Eighteen women from all walks of life will receive training on the rigors of electoral politics. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

More women are stepping up to challenge of taking on the world of politics, which has long been a male dominated field. The Women in Politics Project launched its third cycle today, with an enthusiastic group of women from all over the country, who are ready to learn ups and downs of electoral politics.

Esther Ayuso Ramirez, Chair, National Women’s Commission

Esther Ayuso Ramirez

“The output has to be a cadre of women prepared and willing to be candidates in our political arena. The output has to be a cadre of women with the solid conviction that their presence is essential for our social, economic and political enhancement and maturity. The output has to be a cadre of women convinced that through active participation they will pioneer change for a more equitable society. The outcome has to be then, the participation of our women in politics.”

The women will learn everything from legislation and policies to engaging with the media and door to door campaigning.

Nyahbinghi Price

Nyahbinghi Price and Michelle Murray are two of the women in this year’s cohort who believe that Belize needs more women in politics.

Nyahbinghi Price, Participant, WIP Cohort 3

“Half of our population is made up of women, we know that a lot of our households are run by women, we know that the striving and the thriving of a nation is based on the treatment of women. So it’s important that women are empowered with the information, the knowledge, the knowhow, the skill set, the articulateness; all the equipment necessary to run the country, to make decisions for the country, to be representatives in our House of Representatives, to be a part of our Senate, to be a part of our Village Councils and all of our different political structures that are in place at this point.”

Michelle Murray

Michelle Murray, Participant, WIP Cohort 3

“I want to help to make a difference in my community, my society and my country and I believe that this program is a stepping stone to empower me to do that. I expect it to provide the knowledge, maybe some skills and some of the basic attitudes that we need as women to exist and be successful in the political arena.”

With only eighteen participants, this year’s group is the smallest since the project started but the results are visible, particularly in the villages.

Ann-Marie Williams

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

“When the Women in Politics project started in 2009, it was the view of the commission to train about twenty-five women for the first cohort. We had an overwhelming amount of applications, sixty-odd and we wound up taking fifty-three women. Of that fifty-three, forty seven successfully completed the program. So we decided we would look actively for twenty-five women so that simply means that some women had to be turned away. Of the twenty-five we took in, in cohort two last year, twenty-two successfully completed.”

Peter Eden Martinez, Ministry of Human Development

Peter Eden Martinez

“Cohort one has produced three elected women at the Village Council level; one chair lady and two councilors. Cohort two has produced two women who ran for national conventions. And though they were not successful they now have good experience under their belts that will serve them well in the future.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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