March is celebrated annually as women’s month and there have been several events being hosted across the country to foster women’s development. The Ministry of Human Development is hosting its “Vagina Conference” which focuses on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Women’s Sexuality, Anatomy and Mechanics of the Vagina, and Impact of STIs on the Vagina. Love News spoke to organizers of other activities being held in honor of women.
Jose Sanchez: “Women’s Month is being celebrated in a variety of ways throughout Belize. Brothers Habet is offering 15% off everything in the store for March while the third annuals Women’s Basketball Competition at the YWCA is being held on Thursday. Last week P.E.T.A.L. held its annual women’s month forum. Petals Treasurer Cherrice Talbert said over one hundred participants came from across the country.”
Charrice Talbert Treasurer P.E.T.A.L.: “We were having our annual women’s month forum and this year the forum was themed “Our bodies and ourselves and examining the age of consent dilemma”. This year we wanted to look at the age of consent. In no way are we challenging the age of consent, we are just saying that if at sixteen I have consent to have sex I should have other things allotted to me as well meaning that I should be able to access the proper health care having sex. There should be comprehensive sexual education being provided as well. As we know that is limited in the schools and that is an area of concern so looking at the age of consent it is not challenging but just to put out there as well that there are some other things that need addressing. We also wanted to look at some other things. Not just focusing on the age of consent but we know that there is a lot now with the youths were it concerns body image, body positivity so that is where our bodies came in and then there is also our selves and that looked at it culturally, the different ethnic groups. We also had the legal panel because you know there are things that are already in place and so we wanted them to speak from that perspective as well and why not have the people that are the experts in these areas speak about that so when you ask the questions you don’t leave from there not having your questions answered.”
Jose Sanchez: “Education institution such as the National Heritage Library is also hosting sessions to empower women.”
Felene Cayetano Librarian, National Heritage Library: “One of the exciting activities going within the National Library Service: it has to be this class that we are doing here at the national library. The class is happening on March 23rd at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and we are touching on these topics: retirement, mental health and legal matters. This class is in conjunction with the Women Empowering Families Group here in Belmopan and the idea is to look at the topics that affect women like: retirement, depression, we are looking at Domestic Violence, Menopause, elder care, mindfulness and financial literacy and other topics that we will touch upon that I have said before. It is more so to have a generational conversation between women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, to women in their 60’s, 70’s and for those women who are older to say okay this is what I would have wanted to know ten, twenty years ago so it is breaking that gap and addressing of course some of the sustainable development goals across that section.”
Jose Sanchez for Love News.