Posted By: Marty


For the first time in Belize, a woman has been awarded the United States Secretary of State Women in Public Service Award. This award which was launched earlier this year by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is basically a training colloquium which is an academic conference looking to bring together policy makers, academics and women leaders from all over the world. The recipient of the award is the Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission and Political Aspirant for the UDP Caribbean Shores, Ann-Marie Williams. In an interview this morning, Williams spoke with reporters about the award.

Ann Marie Williams – Recipient, US Secretary of State Women in Public Service Award
“My nomination came from the US Ambassador Vinai Thumallapally himself and over 200 women were actually selected from all over the world and I was told that only 50 from that 200 and odd would be chosen and I am happy to know that I am one of that 50. Among the group of women chosen they are from all over world, it’s an opportunity for women to come together to do training in political leadership, in public service, to actually do speaking engagements. My trip begins in San Francisco which is an international leadership programme, we will be travelling to various cities in the United States and it will culminate with the training colloquium in Washington DC on December 15; that will take me in Washington with all these women and the colloquium will actually be chaired by the US Secretary of State herself, Hillary Clinton and for me that is a great opportunity to meet her because she is one of the women that I really admire.”

Williams says she is honored to be the only woman in Belize to be nominated and to have been picked on of the fifty out of two hundred nominees.

Ann Marie Williams – Recipient, US Secretary of State Women in Public Service Award
“I was and still is very humbled and appreciative, I never thought it would happen because it is a first for Belize, the award was just launched in 2011 and to have been nominated I would really like to thank the Ambassador and his staff for the tremendous confidence they have placed in me having looked afar and a little bit up close at my work and to know that I could have been nominated. It all started with the fact that they were confident enough I had what they felt it took to be among these prestigious women so I am really looking forward to the opportunity, see what are some of the things that they are doing in their respective countries that we can learn from here that certainly I can bring back. Need I add that it is a very timely thing, it is at a time when I am trying to become the standard bearer for the Caribbean Shores constituency, what a great opportunity to meet these women and to network and to actually build bridges that we can actually use here.”

When asked if this venture will help prepare her even better in her candidacy, Williams said that every opportunity for training is a great opportunity for preparation and that it will certainly benefit her but she will use this new knowledge to benefit the wider community and by extension, the country.

Posted By: Marty

Re: BELIZEAN WOMAN AWARDED - 12/02/11 03:20 PM

Ann-Marie Williams receives prestigious honor

Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission and Political Aspirant for the UDP Caribbean Shores Convention has been awarded the US Secretary of State Women in Public Service Award. Williams was nominated by U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally, She is part of a group of 50 women chosen from over 200 countries who have been nominated. The 10-day training colloquium, which starts off in San Francisco and ends in Washington DC, will bring together policy makers, academics, established and emerging women leaders from around the world for training, networking opportunities and speaking engagements. We spoke with Williams yesterday afternoon.

Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director, National Women’s Commission
The US Secretary of State Women in Public Service Award is an award that was launched in March of 2011 and it is named after the US Secretary of State herself, Hilary Clinton. For me it’s a great opportunity; it is one of the greatest opportunities that I have had so far. I was nominated by the US Ambassador and I would really like to thank the Ambassador and his team for the tremendous confidence he has placed in me by nominating me for this award. Over two-hundred women from all over the world were nominated and fifty of us were chosen and Belize is in that fifty. I am really humbled and it’s a great opportunity for me.

The Women in Public Service Project will create intensive training and mentoring opportunities for emerging and aspiring women leaders. It will help to generate insights on women's political leadership for women who want to become leaders in government or civic life. Williams explains how the project will enhance her in the journey to political office.

Ann-Marie Williams
This award for me, couldn’t have come at a better time, a time when I am actually trying to seek the nomination in Caribbean Shores. I would be very grateful if the people of Caribbean Shores decide to have me as their representative. It is a chance for me to use the things and the opportunity and a chance of networking that I have gained over these ten days, to bring back, look at some of the best practices and see how we can advance, not only the cause of women, but the entire development of the country and how we can move forward as a society. It is just another step on the road to the continuous building of my career and my moving forward, not only on a personal journey, but on a journey to advance the cause of women in Belize, one that I take with a certain amount of pride and a certain amount of respect and dignity.

The Women in Public Service Project is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the Seven Sisters women's Colleges to advance women to positions of influence in governments and civic organizations worldwide.


Posted By: Marty

Re: BELIZEAN WOMAN AWARDED - 12/02/11 03:28 PM

Ann-Marie says she is ready for the House

The race is down to the wire for the UDP in Caribbean Shores and the party’s three aspirants have been taking their individual platforms to the constituents over the past few weeks. Here on Love News we have heard from Santino Castillo, the businessman, and Chandra Cansino, the nurse and Manager at the Social Security Board. Today we caught up with Ann Marie Williams, the journalist and activist. She told us that her agenda is different in that she is an advocate for people and she possesses the know-how to get things done.

The convention to elect the UDP standard bearer for Caribbean Shores is set for this coming Sunday at Trinity Methodist Primary School on G Street in the King’s Park area.


Posted By: Marty

Re: BELIZEAN WOMAN AWARDED - 12/07/11 03:00 PM

Ann-Marie Still Loves The Game

Last night we had the full, blow-by-blow account of the Caribbean Shores convention - where Santino Castillo blew out his opponents Chandra Cansino and Ann-Marie Williams.

Even though she was the tacit choice of the party establishment, Chandra Cansino can't feel that bad with her second place finish and 616 votes, after all, she entered the race as a virtual unknown with no national profile.

But the same can't be said for Ann Marie Williams. She's been in the media spotlight for two decades- and has been a prominent journalist, talent show judge and leading women's rights activist.

But with all that, she only got 137 votes. So what went wrong? We caught up with her at the airport today where she told us handout politics did her in:..

Jules Vasquez
"The election is over. What are your impressions?"

Ann-Marie Williams, got 137 votes in Caribbean Shores convention
"Mixed. It's unfortunate that hand out politics is alive and well and it's not going anywhere. As you all know and everybody knew I was the only one not paying out there that day. People came out and people voted. Two things were at play, we had a lot of pledges but I felt some people came and felt that Santino had already won and something was there to be taken - to be given from both camps and they took it and they voted for those who gave. I didn't give anything. there were some of my people who didn't show and that's it."

Jules Vasquez
"Handouts couldn't have had a determining factor. It may have played a role, it couldn't have had a determining factor."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Well you saw it you were out there. It was amazing; I've never seen it at that magnitude."

Jules Vasquez
"Now a critic would say well it's just sour grapes, you didn't win so you will say that the others bought out the election."

Ann-Marie Williams
"I don't have to say that. You were there. I am not saying that they buy out the election. I am saying handout politics is alive and well."

"This is not sour grapes, I am no means bitter because I felt that people were not ready for the real change and that's ok, we are at different places."

Jules Vasquez
"But might you be willing to entertain that maybe it's about you. I told you this when you got in, sometimes you love the game but the game doesn't love you."

Ann-Marie Williams
"I don't know, the last time I lost by only 80 votes and I have done a greater body of work, so it's not about me, it's about what was there for the taking. You can only do so much and so I wanted to do a whole lot but I can't do it alone and so the electorate of Caribbean Shores had an opportunity - they made a choice and that's ok."

Jules Vasquez
"Leadership is something you strive towards. Will this deter you from what has been one of the great unrealized ambitions of your life?"

Ann-Marie Williams
"No it will not deter me from politics but I certainly will take a look and asses where I turn and where I go, I am very committed to helping Santi, but in terms of maybe me running again that's not really an issue, that is not even something I think about."

Right after our interview, Williams left for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Women in Public Service Project - an elite training course for 50 outstanding women form across the world, which will take her to multiple cities across the USA starting in Sacramento, California.

Channel 7

Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: BELIZEAN WOMAN AWARDED - 12/07/11 03:35 PM

AMW was never a factor in this election, simply because no one likes her; not due to $ or 'hand out' politics. Sour grapes indeed.
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