Miss Jane is US Embassy’s Woman of the Year 2017

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Updated: March 31, 2017

The US Embassy has recognized two more Belizean Women for their outstanding contribution to society during the 12th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards Ceremony hosted by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow and the Women’s Department.  This year the US Department of State nominated Captain Derricia Castillo–Salazar for the U.S. Department of State’s International Women of Courage Award for Belize, quote, “for her dedication to the active inclusion of the LGBT community in Belize and her impactful work on HIV/AIDS prevention, policy, and response within the Belize Defense Force”. The Award recognizes women worldwide who have “demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk,” states the US Embassy press release.  To date, the Department of State has awarded over 100 women from more than sixty countries. The first Belizean woman to receive the award was Debra Baptist-Estrada in 2016. The US Embassy also recognized Dr. Jane Ellen Mary Usher as the Embassy’s Woman of the Year 2017 for her life-long contributions to economic empowerment and dedicated public service. This is the seventh year that the Embassy issues the award, recognizing, quote “the achievements of remarkable Belizean women and celebrates the honorable causes to which the awardees devote their lives”. These awards are part of the larger effort by the U.S. Government to promote gender equality and empower women and girls in America and around the world.