The Development of Belizean Women in Politics: that was the topic discussed today at the St. Catherine's Academy Assembly Hall. The Belize Women's Political Caucus organized this talk with the students this morning to educate them on the role of women in society and the importance of involving more women in politics. The President of the Belize Women's Political Caucus told us about the impact she hopes this conference will have on these young girls. We also spoke to the students to get their reaction.

Dorla Bowman, Pres., BZ Women's Political Caucus
"The Belize Women's Political Caucus decided to work with young women in order to groom and encourage the younger generation to consider a political career. We decided on the format of having an exhibition which today is opening, is featuring women from all over the country from all the political parties who were elected to the House of Representatives. Who were elected to town boards, town councils, city councils in Belize. We also, as a part of this exhibition, highlighted the campaign memorabilia, so they could get a better understanding and political literature. This is done in an attempt to provide them with information, inspire and to encourage them."

Kendice Armstrong, 4th Form
"I learnt a lot actually. I didn't know so many women were in politics in Belize or held some of those positions. The message I'm mainly going to take away from today is that I can do anything mainly. If I want to enter the field of politics, if it's something that I really want to do I can put my mind to it. I think involving more women is important because women are our forefront and Belize is mainly run by men but women are the backbone. We care for children and everything so I think it's really important that women get a chance to enter politics and share our views in what we think our country should be like."

Jasmine Bennett, 4th Form
"In this country, men lead this country. At first I was discouraged, I thought that women, why would we even run for politics, but this conference had me really thinking that yes women really do need to run for politics because we can really make some changes."

While all that sounds promising, women face challenges in politics at several levels. Bowman told us that even after a woman is elected for a political position, those setbacks mount including the lack of support from other party members. Bowman explained that these are just a few of the hurdles the women's caucus has to overcome.

Dorla Bowman, Pres., BZ Women's Political Caucus
"There are several challenges that women face and that is because when one or two get elected at whatever level, they are minority. It's a numbers game, politics is a numbers game and many times these women who get elected, they do not have a base that they can turn to to give them the support. Also, the Women's Political Caucus strongly feel that its high time that women be given ministerial portfolios. Why is it women with more experience and more qualification or with equal experience and equal qualification with men have to be deputy. That is one of the things that the Women's Political Caucus will take up. But first and foremost at this point in time, we are educating the people so that when we take up the issue, they better understand the political system."

This discussion will be held all across the country. They will be in Orange Walk on May 9th and 10th, in Corozal on May 12th and 13th , Dangriga on May 17th among other venues throughout the month.

Channel 7