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Oct 28, 2021

MOU to Expand Economic Opportunities for Women

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed this afternoon, aimed at creating economic opportunities for Belizean woman. It is a joint venture, through the Ministries of Human Development and Agriculture, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The four entities will together provide the necessary job readiness, business and marketing planning, technical training and financial backing to develop their own small and medium enterprises. Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia and her counterpart at Agriculture, Jose Mai, shared the limited opportunities that the current system offers to women and how the MOU is expected to change that.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Min. of Human Dev. (00067)

“Women remain less likely to participate in the labour market than men around the world. Labour force participation rate for women, aged twenty-five to fifty-four is sixty-three percent, compared to ninety-five percent for men. When including younger aged fifteen years and up, and older women, in 2018 women’s global labour force participation rate was even lower, at forty-eight point five percent and twenty-six point five percent. And those are the percentage point below men’s participation. Women are more likely to be unemployed than men. In Belize, the disparities between women and men, in terms of access to financial services, labour force participation and income and household responsibilities poses a challenge for women and economic inclusion. Women face substantial obstacles to accessing financial services, with the most important being lack of collateral to guarantee loans. I and we have high expectations that together we will make a difference in the lives of our Belizean women throughout the country. Already this Ministry, together with the National Women’s Commission is preparing to present to Cabinet the new and innovative National Gender Policy, which will build on the achievement of the earlier policy. It focuses on some of the gaps and areas for further action in each of the six areas of health, education, wealth and employment creation, gender-based violence, women in power and decision-making and organizational systems strengthening.”


Jose Mai

Jose Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“Our Ministry believes that for us to boost economic growth across all sectors, we must continue to promote and increase women’s participation. Not only do women bring new and effective skills, but they also increase productivity and economic gains for all of us. Collectively, our commitment today in this partnership is to offer all women an opportunity to gain economic autonomy, equal opportunities for employment and income, as well as a space for participation in decision-making and networking for growth. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise commits today to provide technical assistance, guidance and support to expand the potentials of women’s entrepreneurial ventures through capacity-building, training, networking, research and development.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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