Calling All Women In Politics

Posted By: Marty

Calling All Women In Politics - 08/03/11 03:44 PM

Women in politics - we can all agree there aren't enough of them - and the National Women's Commission is trying to increase that number with its WIP - or women in politics project.

In its third intake, the programme encourages women over the age of 21 who want to offer themselves as candidates for elections at any level.

Executive Director of the Commission Anne Marie Williams told us why women must get involved:..

Anne Marie Williams, Executive Director - WIP
"We are looking for 20 Belizean women who are willing, not necessarily able at this time but feel like they have the courage to want to stand for elections and that's elections at the village, city, municipal or national level and those are the women we are looking for to train and to socialize for 13 weeks to get a handle on issues that are pertain to politics and national development."

"I have to trump the successes from cohort 1, we have 4 women who went up for the village council elections and 3 were successful, we have a chairlady and 3 councilors and its incremental successes but we haven't gotten to this point over night and of cohort 3; we have 3 women who have sign up for the municipal elections in 2012. So we are having successes and I am happy about that because if the WIP program was here 10 years ago we wouldn't be in this position."

Jules Vasquez
"Which particular position are you talking about?"

Anne Marie Williams, Executive Director
"Where there are no women in the House. So if you look at the incremental successes of where WIP is going - it's to develop a critical mass of women for parliament."

The public call closes on Friday of this week. The 13-week training programme starts in October and ends with a graduation ceremony in March. To date, 69 of 78 women have graduated from Cohorts I & II of the Award-winning programme.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Calling All Women In Politics - 08/03/11 03:56 PM


Women who have an interest in politics are being invited to be a part of the Women in Politics Program. This is an initiative of the National Women’s Commission and designed to expose women to, and build their confidence for, political leadership. Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission Ann Marie Williams says that the third cohort is an improvement on cohorts one and two, and that based on the encouraging outcomes of those previous ones, a programme like this is necessary in Belize because women can lead equally as good or even better than their male counterparts.

Ann Marie Williams – Executive Director, National Women’s Commission
“From the first cohort we had 53 women sign up for the course, 47 graduated and of that 47, four of them ran for village council elections; of the four three were successful, we have one chairlady and two councilors in the village council elections. From cohort two and cohort one we have four women who have signed up already for the town and municipal elections March 2012 so I count that as great successes. A course like this is necessary for both men and women it is just that the women right now have the advantage. Why the course is necessary, you and I know that there are a lot of politicians we find them far and wide, you hear them speaking and you know that they need training on the topic they are speaking about. So we have decided at the Commission to give the women a leg up on the competition and primarily too because you know that there are no women in our parliament and part of this training is a direct result of that. Belize has signed on to Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women which is CEDAW and the Commission is mandated to monitor that convention and in our last report which is the third and fourth periodic in 2007, CEDAW told Belize it has to do whatever it can to fast track women’s political leadership. It is not a great thing that 51% of our voting population is women yet we have no women in parliament, what are we saying to ourselves and when we find women graduating two to one at the University level and they are not in the work force and they are not in the political arena at the top then where are these women? It is not just for politics sake but women have the right to take part in this type of elections at the national level and also when women thrive, the whole of society benefits and if you will say you can develop adequately with 51% of your population behind, let’s try to bring them in and see what better type of development we will have because look where we have been.”

The third cohort of “Women in Politics” will run for thirteen weeks, and begins in October and topics will include, among others, the Constitution, How We Are Governed, Preparing for a Political Convention, Politics and the Media, and Dissecting the National Budget. Women who would like to be a part of cohort three of the programme may visit the Commission’s website at and click on the Women In Politics logo on the homepage.

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