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Jun 24, 2013

Gender Policy is ambiguous; B.N.T.U. does more homework

Endeavora Jorgensen

The 2013 Revised Gender Policy is the handiwork of the Women’s Commission and it is certainly one revision that has attracted the attention of the nation. The policy’s inclusion of sexual orientation and updated definition of gender has reached the desk of the Belize National Teachers Union. The B.N.T.U. has been doing its homework on the policy by receiving explanations from various divides of the gender issue. News Five asked B.N.T.U.’s National Secretary what is the union’s position on the policy…and she finds it to be vague.


Endeavora Jorgensen, National Secretary, B.N.T.U.

“Well I can say that the union is still examining the document. The document says National Women’s Commission and we are still seeking clarity because clarity is still not quite here. In their definition, glossary of terms…it says gender: the socially constructed roles allocated respectively to women and men in particular societies and it goes on and on. We have been in many meetings where there are different presentations and the union is concerned about certain things happening here. One of our question is, is the document prepared so that we can get international funding? We are not sure. We were told no. But we looked at certain areas and it says the role of international development partners. That implies funding—note what I said, implies. And when it comes to the whole issue of gender, they are not spelling it out too clearly and that is our problem. So we are still seeking clarity with the document and we’ve gotten legal perspective, from the Ministry of Human Development, the Church, the Bishop’s Commission come in. So we are not quite finished with it…we have about one presentation or so, we will scrutinize the document more and then we will take a position. What we can say unequivocally is that we respect human rights. We have to respect human rights, but we need to seek clarity. That is what is the problem right now; this document is not too clear in certain areas. What is hoping to achieve as a lawyer said, ninety percent is very, very good, but it is those areas that we are not too sure about. As I said, we are still seeking. This document, if anybody has read it and I want to ask everybody to read it, you will see that there is a level of cloudiness…even in the definition here. I mean when I was growing up, gender was male or female. Now this tells me that the social constructed roles allocated respectively to women and men. So we need to seek clarity and what implications it will have. We’ve been told that it has no implications for the law, but when we look at it, we see things that make reference in my opinion; establish a legal framework…that’s a phrase in here. Umm…create an anti-discrimination law. So really, there is much work that needs to be done from our perspective for us to officially state a position.”

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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1 Response for “Gender Policy is ambiguous; B.N.T.U. does more homework”

  1. Initiate says:

    If you blur the lines, you will end up in an eternal mess.

  2. Julio Alvarez says:

    The teachers union needs to be more worried about the mediocre state of our education system and less about the gender policy and issues relating to sexual orientation. They need to stop listening to the idiots at PlusTV. Critical thinking is necessary. Listening and regurgitating the talking points of conspiracy nuts does not help your cause.

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