Women's Month 2016 Booklet

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  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    LAYOUT AND FORMAT OF WOMENS MONTH 2016 BOOKLET BY

    Cynthia Williams (Human Development Coordinator, Womens

    Department)

    Artistic Interpretation of cover design

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    International Womens Day/Womens

    Month 2016 Message

    Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez,

    Minister of Human Development,

    Social Transformation and Poverty

    Alleviation

    International Womens Day is

    acknowledged across the globe on March 8th

    , but over the years in

    Belize we have evolved to dedicating the entire month of March to

    recognize and celebrate the various accomplishments and

    contributions that women have made to Belizes society and

    economy. It is a month of collaboration and cooperation as

    governmental, non-governmental and community-based

    organizations join together in organizing and executing activities

    focusing on womens advancement and womens rights.

    The theme for this years womens month is Pledge for Parity:

    Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for

    All. This theme acknowledges that despite all the efforts and

    progress that have been made to ensuring gender equality and

    equity, there are still barriers to achieving the parity between men

    and women that is essential to true development. The theme also

    demonstrates that equality cannot be achieved without unity, a

    unity that calls for inclusion, partnership and visioning for all. It is

    important that everyone, men and women, understand that their

    actions contribute to and greatly affect this movement towards

    parity. Once this is understood then concrete steps at the individual

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    and collective levels can be taken to dismantle the last bastions of

    gender inequality and inequity.

    It needs to be fully understood and appreciated by all that gender

    equality is not about women trying to take over the world, but

    rather, its about women taking their rightful position beside men.

    It is about parity. It is about ensuring that there is a level playing

    field and creating an enabling environment that allows both men

    and women to have equal opportunities to realize their fullest

    potential and contribute positively to society in whichever way

    they see fit.

    Women should not have to down-play their strength and

    independence for the sake of trying to preserve mens self-image

    and security. As men, we should not be threatened by strong,

    independent women; we should encourage and embrace them

    because stronger women mean stronger families and stronger

    families means stronger communities and a stronger society

    overall.

    It is therefore incumbent on us to do our part in breaking down the

    barriers and helping our sisters break through the glass ceilings.

    As we strive for parity, we need to always remember to cement our

    gains by educating the next generation. We must teach our children

    new ways of being, new ways of viewing the world and the

    relationship between men and women. We must teach them the

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    profound lesson embodied in the old school yard saying anything

    boys can do, girls can do too. Our young women must know their

    worth. They must be instilled with the necessary values in order for

    them to see the contribution they make to their families, to the

    community, and to society. Solid actions must be implemented,

    and with the unified forces of men and women, so much can be

    accomplished. In a small developing country such as ours we

    cannot afford for half of our population to not be functioning at full

    capacity of society has placed unnecessary obstacles in the way.

    Womens Month is a celebration of womens empowerment and

    represents centuries of struggle for equality, justice, peace and

    development. The Womens Department in the Ministry of Human

    Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation,

    along with its partner agencies continue its efforts to change gender

    disparities, attitudes and behaviors in Belize in an effort to foster

    healthy relationships.

    March has been set aside this month to reflect on our mothers, our

    sisters, our daughters, our wives- and bear in mind all their

    struggles, sacrifices, hardships and achievements. However, let us

    not be limited to these 31 days to show appreciation for our

    women, let us continuously pledge to Parity; Strong Women,

    Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All throughout the

    year, every year.

    Have a Happy Womens Month!

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    Womens Month Message 2016

    Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow

    Special Envoy for Women and Children

    The phrases gender equality, womens rights

    and womens empowerment are well on

    their way to becoming household terms.

    This is a testament to the transformative

    work and advocacy that has made issues

    affecting women a global discussion. It is

    also a signal that this is the time to amplify our efforts as the level

    of interest and the readiness of our society increases.

    We are reminded of this by this years theme for Womens Month

    in Belize: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World,

    Improving Opportunities for All. To truly achieve parity starts

    with an understanding that it is not just about women; its about

    balancing those persistent inequalities in leadership roles, cultural

    roles and workplace biases among others. This cannot be

    accomplished without the support and partnership of our male

    counterparts; whether it is through advocating for equity and

    gender-balanced leadership, helping women and girls achieve their

    goals or simply offering encouragement and moral support.

    So while we celebrate how far we have come by uniting as women,

    I want to encourage our Belizean men to stand up and join us

    making a Pledge for Parity.

    I congratulate this years awardees and wish all women a Happy

    Womens Month!

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    International Womens Day International Womens Day (March 8

    th) is an occasion marked by

    womens groups around the world. Putting women and womens rights

    on the global agenda is the moving force behind this day. It is the story

    of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old

    struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.

    The tradition of celebrating International Womens Day represents at

    least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. The idea of a day for women, celebrated all over the world,

    began in America and Europe. The focus was the movement for womens

    rights and achieving universal suffrage for women. Between 1913 and

    1917 women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.

    The International Womens Day protest that hanged the world occurred in Russia in 1917 (March 8

    th by Western Reckoning, February 23 on the

    Georgian calendar). Coming on the rise of long struggle and many

    strikes, International Womens Day 1917 inspired thousands of Russian women to leave their homes and factories to protest the terrible shortages

    of food, the high prices, the world war, and the increased suffering they

    had bitterly endured. The protest inspired the last push of a revolution. A

    general strike spread through Petrograd, and within a week, Czar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate. After 1917, and in honor of womens

    role in the Russian Revolution, International Womens Day secured its

    place on March 8th on socialist calendars.

    The date became official in 1921, when Bulgarian women attending the

    International Womens Secretariat of the Communist International made a motion that the day be uniformly celebrated around the world on March

    8th.

    In the early days of its observance, International Womens Day was

    celebrated as a socialist holiday honoring working women. With the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s came a renewed interest in

    International Womens Day. Feminists found it a ready-made holiday for

    the celebration of womens lives and work and began promoting March 8

    th as such.

  • 2016 Theme: Pledge for Parity: Strong Women, Strong World, Improving Opportunities for All.

    In Belize, the first International Womens Day was observed in the late

    1970s and was initiated by a strong group of women from various

    organizations. Since those early years, International Womens Day has

    assumed a new dimension for women in Belize. The growing international womens movement, which has been strengthened by four

    global United Nations conferences, has helped make the

    commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand womens rights and participation in the political and economic process.

    Increasingly in Belize International Womens Day is a time to r