Highlights — 27 January 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Ann-Marie Williams exits National Women’s Commission for CARICOM appointment

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 25, 2018– Ann-Marie Williams, the first Executive Director for the National Women’s Commission of Belize, last month resigned from the post she has held for nine years to take up a new appointment as the deputy program manager for gender and development at the CARICOM Secretariat.

In an interview with KREM TV, Williams said that there was never a really good time to go. As a Belizean who is very rooted in her community, I think I’ve earned my keep, I’ve paid my dues. There is never a good time to really go, but when the opportunity presents itself, you really have to go.

Williams said, “This is something I’ve always really wanted, to work regionally and internationally. I consider myself very honored and I am humbled.”

While at the helm at the National Women’s Commission, Williams pioneered the Women in Politics Project.

“One of the pillars of the National Gender Policy had to do with women in decision making. One of the points that Belize agreed to follow in the Beijing Conference in 1995, was to make sure that they pursue women in decision making to advance women in development to advance gender equality and women empowerment…,” Williams noted.

Williams explained that in 2008 when she took over the National Women’s Commission, there were no women in politics, but now there are women who are elected at the national level and in the upcoming municipal elections, there are several female candidates. Some of the women who are in politics now came out of the Women in Politics Project, she said.

Williams attempted to run for national office as a standard bearer for the United Democratic Party in the Caribbean Shores constituency in 2011, but she never made it past the constituency convention level.

Williams worked at several media houses for about two decades. She first began working as a broadcaster at Radio Belize at a very tender age, and was the first to read the news at KREM Radio, Belize’s first private radio station.

In her later years, Williams worked as news anchor for Channel 5. She also worked as the editor of The Reporter.

Williams completed a Bachelor’s degree from the University College of Belize and would later earn a Master’s degree in gender development from the University of Sussex, England.

She said that in her new role she will be looking at several projects that need to be taken on, and Belize will benefit from her work.

Williams will take up her new post at the CARICOM Secretariat in February.

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