REPORT #251 May 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Is there anybody in Belize capable of organizing women to make a voting block nationally by gender? Doesn't seem so. The usual intellectuals ( women this time) in the port town old capital of Belize City, talk and bleat a lot, like a lot of sheep. But the fire and brimstone necessary to get women an actual political participation in national politics is not there. Organizational skills, fund raising, talk meetings, local chapters in each village, and all those good things are necessary to get women involved in national politics. Without which, they are relegated to the dirty end of the stick.

Admittedly, it is harder for women to organize politically. They carry so many burdens in today's society. But unless they do organize, they are doomed to be taken advantage of, just like always.

Voting is secret! You can lie to your husband I suppose, if you are a subservient female chattel object, like a mule in a Toledo Hill village, then vote for a woman anyway. He would never know! But would women do that? You might get a beating! Only if women had organizational meetings and education of village women about where their interests lie.

Therese Rath did an article in the Reporter newspaper of the 30th April, 2000. It said there was a new female, gender orientated political caucus in Belize. It is called the WPC. The Womens Political Caucus. Good start! But will it ever amount to anything? Not likely! Yet it is a shame! Women don't have much of a voice in Belize and they get taken advantage of all the time. Not so bad as in some countries like Iran and Afghanistan. But still, they don't exercise the political power they could have. Theoretically, they hold 50% of the votes in Belizean national elections. If they could advise women to vote for their chapter choices in each electoral division and base those decisions and choices on the best candidate, rather than party orientated platforms, they just might influence how Belize is governed.

Therese says one third of the women interviewed in running for national elections in Belize are interested. Wonder if it is true? Politics and election running, is about smearing character, insults, and a host of negative happenings. I don't run for that very reason. Got enough skeletons in my closet without that stuff being dragged out. But what about women running for National Elections? They have been raped, called prostitutes and worse. Can they take the heat? That is definitely a different story.

Looking at it theoretically, women could make a big difference if they organized. But practically, probably never happen, except in isolated electoral divisions, mostly in Dangriga, Belize South and perhaps the odd place in the old capital of Belize City.

It's a nice rosy dream though. Hope it comes true! But don't hold your breath.

The political strength for anyone, is block voting. That is what a party apparatus is. A block vote. For WPC to work out, they have to organize, have village meetings, chapters, fund raising and achieve a womens block vote, independent of any existing political party now in Belize.

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