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19th Annual Outstanding Women's Awards 2024

The National Women's Commission

International Women’s Day– is observed globally in recognition of the achievements of women across social, economic, cultural, and political arenas. We use this time to reflect on our progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of our communities and our beloved country Belize. International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. In Belize, we utilize the entire month of March to not only celebrate but educate, inform, dialogue with women from all facets of the Belizean society. This helps us to acquaint the necessary changes that need to be made in our programs, projects and laws. The Theme for this year’s Women’s Month is Inspire Inclusion: Count Her In means that when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there is a sense o belonging, relevance, and empowerment. Women must always be counted in. Over the past year, the government has made significant changes to improve the women’s agenda. Changes in legislation such as the Family and Children’s Act, as well as the strengthening of the Sexual Harassment Act, now the proposed Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill. The National Women’s Commission is now a statutory body, giving them the legal mandate of advocating, promotion, monitoring and reporting on gender issues in Belize. Empowering women is a big responsibility, but it is also vital for gender equality. Furthermore, society benefits when women are treated with dignity and respect. Women are undoubtedly turning the world's attention to them. It was previously impossible, but it is now doable, and they are doing so now. Women are achieving incredible heights and breaking glass ceilings, for example, increases in women in leadership positions and women as proprietors of MSMEs. Women are joining every field and succeeding in all of them, demonstrating their abilities. The most efficient approach to enhance communities, organizations, and countries is for women to participate. Furthermore, women's participation strengthens peace accords, strengthens society, and makes economies more dynamic.