16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence commence

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Amandala Newspaper

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Nov. 25, 2022

On Friday, November 25, Belize joined the international community in celebrating 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will culminate on December 10, which will be observed as Human Rights Day.

Minister of Human Development, Families & Indigenous People’s Affairs, Hon. Dolores Balderamos García, noted in an interview with AMANDALA, “It’s an intractable problem, so it’s very difficult to address. I think the more awareness, the more we wear the color orange, we wear our buttons, the more we can fight it… we want to shine a light on this very difficult problem, but we believe that we’re making a difference when we bring this kind of activity to the gender-based violence against women and children. It never seems to end. We must never give up, because it is important for the human rights of our people.”

An event launching the days of activism was hosted at the House of Culture in Belize City by the National Women’s Commission, working in tandem with the Spotlight Initiative, multi-sectoral United Nations agencies, the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs, and the Office of the Special Envoy.

This year’s international campaign theme is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls and calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.”

Eleanor Murillo, program officer for the National Women’s Commission, highlighted several events which will be taking place throughout the 16 days of activities, which started with last week’s Friday launching event, followed by a march throughout downtown Belize City. Additionally, among the activities is a candlelight vigil in remembrance of those who have lost their lives due to gender-based violence.

“Throughout the 16 days, it’s for us to amp up our education and awareness. It’s not for us to say we don’t do this all year long, from 16 days to 365; however, during this period we amp up our efforts and it’s a collaboration among government, NGOs, and other organizations,” said Murillo.

“… What we want is behavior change; every time you hear of a woman being stabbed or beaten, we cringe. We are putting in so much effort to see this is still happening, so we need to amp up our efforts even more, and so this period is to educate our public, all across the country,” she added.