Belize is a signatory to the Beijing Platform for Action which was adopted by members of the United Nations at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in September 1995. Countries regularly review the progress of the goals set out in the declaration. In this regard, the National Women’s Commission is hosting a consultation to look at the advancement made in the twelve areas identified in the platform for action.
Cynthia Williams – Executive Director of National Women’s Commission: “There are twelve critical areas that were committed by Governments around the world and some of them include women and the media, violence against women, women and the economy, women in conflict which to Belize it might not be significant as in other countries but there are issues that may be more contextual to Belize. We are also looking at education and training for women and so Governments and countries around the world then have the mandate to implement the platform for action. A lot of the challenges, gaps, and needs will take quite a while for us to actually fill and so being able to identify key stakeholders who can contribute to fill those gaps and to minimize the barriers and the challenges. For us at the National Women’s Commission being an advisory body to Government on issues of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment, our role is to coordinate activities to be able to bring stakeholders and partners together to look at particularly these gaps and to see how we can formulate a pathway and a road over the next few years. Of course you have to look at short, middle and long term strategies, How we make it inclusive is these are not strategies only to be implemented by Government. As the duty bearer, there are several multiple level duty bearers that we have to looked at and so looking at the community level, looking at the local level, looking at town councils and religious organizations. What is the role of these different organizations? And for us at the National Women’s Commission it is an opportunity to enter and engage them to be able to see what is the role to see what each of you play, how we can work together to make sure that we are able to meet the needs? And provide protection for the advancement for women and girls.”
The session also provided for the documentation of the workings being conducted by government and non-government organization in this regard. Today’s session was held at the University of Belize in Belize City.