The month of March in Belize is celebrated annually as National Women’s Month and as a result, the Special Envoy Office, in collaboration with the National Women’s Commission, staged the 20,000 Strong National Women’s Empowerment Rally on Thursday, March 6, 2014, from 10:00A.M. to 3:00P.M. at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City.
In a press release sent out by the Roman Catholic Church in Belize, they acknowledged and stated that they celebrate the women of Belize during and beyond the month of March however, they did not endorse the 20,000 Women’s rally because to the Catholic Church the invitation did not speak to the complementarity role between men and women as taught by Christ through the Church.
The release continued by stating that the National Women’s Commission promotes values that contradict Christian and moral teachings regarding respect for all human life, family, marriage and human sexuality as ordered by God . “The Roman Catholic Church strongly believes that the well being of women cannot be enhanced by advocacy that promotes abortion and so-called pseudo rights of men and women and same sex relationships,” stated the release.
Despite the Catholic Church’s rejection, the rally did take place. The aim of this first-of-its kind event was to demonstrate the power, influence and significance of women by showing the Belizean society a day without women. This rally served as a platform for a collective approach at finding solutions to the issues that affect the lives of women. Women countrywide were invited to take the day off from work as a means of celebrating their collective strength and participate in the rally en mass.
Women from the districts and surrounding villages journeyed by buses and boats while Belize City women marched from Central American Boulevard to the Marion Jones Stadium where all women descend for a rally featuring dynamic speakers with women’s rights messages. All women were asked to wear something orange. This vibrant color brings together every woman under the banner of the UNITE Campaign to end violence against women and girls.