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Efforts are being made to level the playing field in Politics

On August 31, the National Women’s Commission in collaboration with the US Embassy will be hosting a National Women in Politics Conference. Executive Director, Anne-Marie Williams, told Love News that the conference is being spearheaded under the Commission’s mandate which is to act as advisory body for the achievement of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment in Belize.


National Women in Politics Conference. Executive Director, Anne-Marie Williams:

“It’s being held ahead of the 2018 SITCO elections to inspire women to get involved in politics. It’s being held under the banner of the Women in Politics project because 98 women have been trained we need to help to keep those women engaged to want to continue to offer themselves for office. We are also trying to promote what is called a role model in effect. Currently the only mayor and deputy mayor across the country Mayor Fern Gutierrez in Punta Gorda she was part of women in politics, a new woman to politics, she was with cohort one. Earth Lopez the Deputy Mayor in Dangriga she was part of women in politics and we have one of the two women elected at the national level, Tracey Panton she was a part of WIP. So WIP has its successes and we are building on that, we will have the three women presenting on their experiences and we also have an international speaker by the name of Kelly Dittmar she comes to us courtesy of the US embassy and she will be speaking on the topic ‘Navigating the gender terrain: Stereotypes and Strategies in politics and leadership. And so it’s an excellent opportunity to give women a boost to continue their political careers or to inspire new women to get involved. We’ve invited particularly all of the women candidates who are contesting for 2018 SitCo elections and so it’s a wonderful day, it’s a chance to network and a chance to get new people and walk away with a whole bulk of knowledge.”


After the one day national conference, Williams says that recommendations will be forward for the way forward.


National Women in Politics Conference. Executive Director, Anne-Marie Williams:

“Recommendations will come out of the one day conference and it is good that we have the Women in Politics graduates there because we want to hear from them, where do they want to see WIP go? WIP has a lot of potential, WIP has produced leaders it is producing leaders and we need to continue that but what else do they want? Do we need to set up a fund for political women? What is it that we need to do and so recommendations will be coming out of the one day conference. An interesting part before the conference though is a public forum, we usually bring in speakers and have a public forum, Kelly Dittmar will be the featured speaker at the public forum on Wednesday the 30th of August at 5:30pm at the Biltmore and the Biltmore has partnered with the commission and the US embassy again to provide the space for us to have this public forum. Kelly will be speaking on the topic “The gendered dimensions of patriarchy in politics and its effects on nation building.” and so we want to invite the entire Belizean community to come out. It is particularly interesting for students, we don’t have a university in the country that speaks to gender and the type of socialization necessary in these areas and so here is an opportunity for you to hear about these things. It’s an open discourse she will do her presentation on the topic and then there will be a chance for people to ask  questions but it’s 5:30pm until about a quarter to 8pm and it’s free for everyone.”


The National Women’s Commission was established in 1982.