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Oct 3, 2012

WIN-Belize forum to encourage Women in Politics

There’s a new initiative to encourage women to participate in electoral politics. The Women’s Issues Network Belize has embarked on a two year project, starting with a two-day forum at the Radisson that brought out about one hundred and twenty-five participants from across the country today.  Belize has had little female representation in the National Assembly because of cultural and social barriers that deter many women from seeking leadership positions. In some communities, women also struggle to gain the support of their families and political parties to endorse their candidacy. But with funding from the United Nations Development Programme, WIN-Belize hopes to strengthen women’s representation in national leadership roles. The first workshop of the project focuses on women’s political and democratic rights and it is being facilitated by gender specialist, Lynette Vassel, who has worked with groups in Jamaica on similar issues. WIN-Belize Executive Director, Carolyn Reynolds, says they want to lobby for an advocacy group at the end of the forum.

 

Carolyn Reynolds

Carolyn Reynolds, Executive Director, WIN-Belize

“This is a two day forum and it’s a first activity for a two year project that we have being funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund. It’s really looking at women and governance, women in leadership positions in the national leadership. And one of the main goals that we want to achieve from this forum is to form and advocacy body of women and men; we would like to have at least one or two men to be a part of it to give support to other women who would like to vie for—run for politics in the years to come. We have women from the academia, we have women from different women’s groups and we also have a good representation of the Maya Women from Toledo so that is really a plus. We have women from Corozal and women from San Ignacio. So we a wide cross-section of women here at the forum. One of the things—well, some of the presentations will be looking at representation of women in the context of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the millennium development goals, which has eight targets but goal number three speaks about women’s equality. Also, looking at the Universal declaration of human rights because one of the things is we’re looking at it from a rights based approach and how women—so for us to understand what it is or what are some of the issues women face and if we have women representing us in the house, then some of these issues can become priority on the government’s program.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“You mentioned this is part of a two year project, can you tell us what other activities you have planned?”

 

Carolyn Reynolds

“Okay, other activities will include—because one of the things we recognize is women need to be educated; we need a lot of training, we need to have mentors, we need to have more public awareness. So we will be doing a lot of media campaigns, we will be doing training and going out into the districts you know to train women in the districts and helping them in areas of public speaking and looking at the legislation, reviewing and revising the legislation, looking at political leadership.”

 

Aside from the presentations, the two-day forum will also include group and panel discussions.

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2 Responses for “WIN-Belize forum to encourage Women in Politics”

  1. Curious says:

    I truly believe that with more women’s leadership in the Country of Belize, Belize will be a better place to be. Women have the heart, compassion and belief to make what is necessary come into being! As we have watched our Men, children and others that we love and care about, we learn and grow smarter as to what all makes it work for all of us. I truly believe, we need more women in leadership roles in the GOB.

  2. blackberry says:

    Ladies, unless you have a large war chest you are wasting your time in thinking of being politicians. This is because you will be force to play the game of `hands out Politics` and that needs a large war chest. Have doubts ask Ann Marie Williams. How you will recover that war chest is another subject.

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