Thursday was the International Day to End Violence against Women. Orange was the colour for everyone to wear as part of events marking the 16 Days of Activism. Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs Dolores Balderamos-Garcia spoke on the occasion, saying that it’s time for the abuse of women to end.
Hon.Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs: “Thirty years ago the campaign was designed to reaffirm, highlight and refocus the work that was already being carried out by advocates around the world including Belize. It’s priority was to use it as a tool for the global response to gender based violence which had at the center the need to bring out the root causes of gender based violence; that is power imbalances and gender inequality. It is extremely important that during this period countries take the time to reflect and be more survivor centered when designing support systems including empowerment strategies. In Belize like many countries around the world we recognize that effective action requires not only responding to incidents of gender based violence and working to prevent individual instances but also building a culture based on principles and values that challenge the cause of gender based violence and discrimination.”
The United Nations Women’s Organization reports that nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters.