Sixteen days of activism to end gender-bed violence started on Friday - and today the Women's Department held its centerpiece event, the National Gender-Based violence conference.

The event was held at the Bliss Center, and fortunately, it started off with the answer to a question many have asked: Just what is gender-based violence?

Director OF The women's Department ICILDA HUMES explained:...

Icilda Humes, Director OF The women's Department
"The term was basically put in place by the UN system to strengthen the actual term violence against women. To me the true essence of what of what gender base violence is violence that is perpetrated against someone because they are male or because they are female and we see that happening, we see that happening with the boy child being sodomize. That is a form of gender base violence."

"They keep using the term gender base violence - six days of activism of gender base violence but nobody really explain what is gender base violence thing really is and the fact that something like sexual harassment is a form of gender base violence and it is actually against the law. The frightening thing about sexual harassment for me is that we are one of the first countries in this region to put in place legislation to protect person for sexual harassment. We have a legislation that is 15 years old. It came into force in 1996 and there has never been a case heard in front of the court. That's frightening, that's sending a dangerous message but its telling us there is certainly needed for more work."

"We need everyone to understand what gender base violence is; what domestic violence is; what sexual harassment is; what human trafficking is; what CSEC is. All of these things so that we can tell our neighbors, we can tell our brothers and sisters or co-workers, so that we will continue to educate everyone as a community."

According to the statistics, in January to December of 2010 there were 1477 reported cases of Domestic Violence nationally, with the most, 794 cases reported in Belize City. The second most cases, 317 were reported in Corozal.

Channel 7