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Belize City Council to Hold Youth Forum

Turning now to other news: the Belize City Council and its partners are hosting a youth forum as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. The panel discussion will take place tomorrow evening and is geared at hearing youth perspectives and addressing complex, contemporary issues. Michael Fritz is the Youth Community Support Officer at the council and he explained more on Tuesday’s edition of “The Morning Show”.

Michael Fritz, Youth Community Support Officer, BBC: “From the City Council’s perspective we’re youth focused and youth centric. A lot of young people are in decision making positions. Two, we’re very goal oriented in terms of letting young people’s voices be heard and we found it necessary to talke gender based violence and violence against women and girls in terms of a panel discussion. So what we did was reach out to UNFPA Belize, the United Nations Population Fund and we began planning a youth panel discussion. Now you might be asking why another panel discussion. We get it but this is a completely different perspective. We’re talking about sharing about how gender based violence and violence against women and girls affects young people.”

Fritz added that because young people are not usually involved in this type of discussion, the council saw it fit to host the event. He hopes the information gathered from the event will be shared with the relevant authorities.

Michael Fritz, Youth Community Support Officer, BBC:Often times we do not necessarily hear from our youth. We are only consulted after the fact. We are only given information after the fact. This is an opportunity for young people to talk about how gender based violence and violence against women and girls affects them and it’s a dynamic because when you think about domestic violence you think about more older relationships and more established family structures and so forth but in reality we have a lot of drivers within the young population. We’re talking about child marriage and early unions or the other name for it ‘shacking up’ and the issues that come about in terms of that, the different forms of domestic violence that are portrayed in terms of physical, emotional, we’re talking about financial, psychological , all of that is compacted and really and truly covid just adds another level of immense pressure on it. So our target it so begin a youth based discussion. I must say that its youth featured in terms of all panelists are young people from different walks. It’s youth organized meaning that the organizing committee, myself and the others from UNFPA and the Youth Advisory Group are the organizing committee so we’re behind the scenes in terms of the panel discussions and as well youth supported in terms of we have a support system for our panelists and for other young people who may seek help or need help. So it’s very youth centric this time about.

The event starts tomorrow at 6 p.m. and is expected to run about ninety minutes.