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Special Envoy Bats For Kaya on Female Inclusion

The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, came out in defence of female athlete Kaya Cattouse. Last week we reported that the Cycling Federation of Belize had sent a stern warning letter to Cattouse for her remarks she made on Facebook about the Federation and this weekend’s Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour. Kaya wrote quote, “I’m starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating against riders based on their age and gender. Seemingly only males above the age of 18 are recognized Digicell customers” end of quote. The federation wrote to her to shut it or face the consequences which would be suspension or be fined. Today the Special Envoy came out swinging in Cattouse’s defence through a press release in which she expresses solidarity with all the female cyclists that have decided to cancel their participation in the  Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour. Barrow writes quote, “Allowing only the male elite cyclists to participate in this annual event, which previously included female riders, highlights the gender inequality that continues to be rampant in sports in Belize”, end of quote. Barrow calls on the Federation to quote, “take deliberate actions to develop women’s sports in Belize” end of quote. Cattouse also has the backing of Senator Lisa Shoman who is acting as her lawyer. Shoman responded to the Federation’s warning letter stating that the letter was sent quote, “in complete and utter disregard of my client’s right to Natural Justice”, end of quote. Shoman tells the Federation’s President, Dion Leslie, quote, “the right of my client to a fair hearing demands that she should have been told by the C.F.B. what exactly were the offending words complained of, and how those words purportedly breach the code of conduct, rather than simply accusing her of continuance in such behaviour”, end of quote.