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Inspire Inclusion with International Women’s Day 2024

HighlightsInspire Inclusion with International Women’s Day 2024

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 7, 2024

March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration recognizing the vast contributions of women in various fields while also spotlighting the crucial need for gender equality.

The United Nations has announced this year’s theme as, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” which speaks to the urgency of addressing economic disparities that hinder women’s advancement in society, paired with the campaign theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” advocating for a diverse and empowered society.

International Women’s Day traces its roots back to the early 20th century, emerging from the labor movements in North America and Europe. Today, it has evolved into a global day of recognition and action, celebrating the strides women have made, while also acknowledging the ongoing challenges they face in achieving equality.

It serves as a platform for raising awareness on issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and combating violence and abuse against women. Unfortunately, despite significant progress, the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take more than a century to achieve gender equality fully.

In Belize, the National Women’s Commission (NWC) is at the forefront of commemorating IWD. “We want to ensure that we forge women’s equality and take action to drive gender parity, which is, we’re still below parity,” shared the Chair of NWC, Thea Garcia-Ramirez.

Highlighting the recent municipal elections, she noted the increased participation of women, including a diverse group of four women elected to the Punta Gorda Town Council, which she believes adds richness to municipal governance.

With women still facing considerable barriers such as discrimination and limited access to services, the need for concerted efforts to address these inequalities is more pressing than ever.

“We’re almost 50% of the population in Belize, and we don’t have all the same services,” she remarked, calling attention to the gender parity index in Belize, which shows women are still 30% more likely to be overlooked for promotions, and face discrimination simply because of their gender.

The NWC has launched an entire calendar of events for the month which will include campaigns, medical services, forums, fairs, marathons, and more, to take place countrywide. Belizeans are encouraged to attend, as the NWC will be collaborating with different entities as they finance these events.

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