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Government says findings of UNICEF Report need to be taken seriously

Gaspar Vega

After receiving the full report, the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Minister of Social Transformation Eden Martinez acknowledged the need to take the findings seriously, while the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño contended that it’s time to get to work.

Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister

“We have to ensure that we work hand in hand with our partners, especially our international partners because we all know for the implementation of the [recommendations in the] analysis report, we’ll need resources that we don’t have. So we will need the assistance, the support from these other institutions.”

Eden Martinez

Eden Martinez, Minister of Social Transformation

“Everybody was quite candid as it relates to the issues that were raised and I mean we cannot bury our heads in the sand. The report is a comprehensive one and it becomes our responsibility now as a government to look at it and let us build on the strengths and improve on the weaknesses that are reported within.”

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“It is important for us as a country to sit around a table; the government, the different departments in the government, the different NGOs and even the opposition; for us to be able to take a hard look at the report in front of us and then for us to decide who is going to be doing what. Of course, the government has to take the lead for us then to stop that duplication and in some instances wasting valuable limited resources. So I think it’s time for us to—you know the studies are finished, the talk shop is finished so I think it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start to work.”

Recommendations were also put on the table including to expand the scope and capacity of tertiary education offerings, focus on improving communications and technology and increase access for women and adolescents to business opportunities.

Channel 5

#414693 - 08/25/11 10:02 AM Re: UNICEF ISSUES REPORT ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Dalila Ical reporting...
“The United Children’s Fund today launched the “Situation Analysis of Women and Children in Belize 2011, An Ecological Review”. The analysis was presented at the two day conference held by UNICEF and the National Committee for Families and Children in San Ignacio. The analysis takes a close look at the conditions necessary for the full achievement of children and women’s rights.

Christine Norton – UNICEF Country Representative
“Here in Belize there are a number of conditions and factors that have an impact on children’s life and it is a web of factors and influencing one affects another to the extent that if you are able to change conditions in which children live and grow you are having a greater chance to improve the developmental outcomes.”

The analysis shows how domains of social well being of children and women are linked and how coordinated policy approaches that incorporate multiple-domain impacts can support the attainment of rights and equity for both groups. Leading the research was Doctor Mark Edberg.

Dr. Mark Edberg – Lead researcher
“The limitations in this area were significant, trying to get data about some of these issues was not always easy and then again thinking about the broad domains is a positive, a clear positive and a very strong strength is that multi cultural aspect. It also presents one of the most sustained challenges to full equity and participation. Continued progress towards incorporating children and women across the major cultural groups is progress toward equity. Examples of this could be communication efforts available in multiple languages, multi lingual disaster in crisis procedures and employment opportunities that extend or increasingly extends across the regions."

The analysis shows, by way of diagrams, how equity of economic opportunity builds Social fabric, investment in health workforce capacity increases health equity, gender inequity means family poverty, how the impact of violence against children lasts a lifetime, and how a vital communications infrastructure improves participation and reduces vulnerability. The analysis was presented today to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Leader of the Opposition John Briceno who both reiterated their party’s commitment towards working for the attainment of women and children’s rights and equity. Special Envoy for women and children, Kim Simplis Barrow says the analysis is of much importance in the work towards improving the social well-being, equity, and rights of women and children in Belize.

Kim Simplis Barrow – Special Envoy for Women and Children
“It provides a road map on where we are and where we need to go therefore I believe it’s very significant. We are talking about rights of all children, all being the word that must be highlighted. All children meaning children who all have a disability and that is very important.”

Specific recommendations were also made in the analysis in areas of socioeconomic opportunity, health, education and protective asset equity, where, the analysis adds, there have been some significant improvements and challenges alike. The recommendations also look at the necessary services, support, policies and capacities needed to achieve changes in these areas.

Christine Norton – UNICEF Country Representative
“In order to achieve the rights of children in Belize it is very clear in this situation that an integrated approach, it would mean much better, stronger partnership, it cannot be seen that Government alone has a responsibility. People often say teachers need to fix it in schools. Parents, teachers, mayors, village leaders, children themselves, children need a voice.”



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