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Nov 22, 2013

Women’s Department kicks off 16 Days of Activism

Cynthia Williams

Sixteen Days of Activism to end gender-based violence against women is an annual calendar of events organized by the Women’s Department to promote awareness on the issue of domestic abuse.  The initiative precedes and coincides with Women’s Month and as such activities are held countrywide to educate the public, as well as to celebrate the role of women in society.  This afternoon in Belize City, the Women’s Department kicked off the Sixteen Days of Activism by holding a brief ceremony, followed by a motorcade through the principal streets.  News Five spoke with Cynthia Williams, Acting Director, Women’s Department.

 

Cynthia Williams, Acting Director, Women’s Department

“Sixteen Days of Activism is an observance that looks at advocating and providing more information, really as an international observance that looks for all the agencies that are working within this issue to strengthen whatever efforts they are making.  It’s really sixteen days between November twenty-fifth and December tenth, so it’s exactly sixteen days and we use whatever avenues through health fairs, through presentations through whatever activities to bring aware the message that we need to end gender-based violence, violence against women and girls, violence against children.  So during these sixteen days we double our efforts, triple our efforts from the normal activities.  We are in support and advocate for changes within legislation, especially during these times because we know that whenever there is violence it affects everybody, not only within the home and this year’s theme, ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Challenging Violence Against Women’ really is a theme that focuses our attention on what are the efforts that we need to do for families.  Because if there is violence between families it’s going to impact the neighborhood, it’s going to impact the community and society in general.  And so we are really trying to encourage the public to become more involved.  Domestic violence, any type of gender-based violence is a public issue which also affects other areas within society.  It’s a public health issue because whenever there is a victim we have to provide services from all avenues, police, Ministry of Health, Education, and so we want to be able to send the message out there that violence is a choice that everybody makes and so we hope that before choosing to use violence as a means of communication they learn the impact that it does and will be able not to be involved as a violent person.”

 

Activities will continue across the country in commemoration of Sixteen Days of Activism in the days ahead.

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