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The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, salutes all women who participated in the Municipal Elections held on March 4th, 2015 for their courage and willingness to put their names on the ballots and to offer themselves to serve the people of our country.

Mrs. Simplis-Barrow extends heartfelt congratulations to all 19 women who were successful in the Elections. Congratulations, especially to Ms. Fern Gutierrez (pictured in headline) who now becomes the only female mayor in the country and Punta Gorda Town’s first female mayor.

It is inspiring to see that more women are stepping up to the challenge to change the dynamics of Belizean governance; an area where women continue to be under-represented. In the 2012 Municipal Elections there were 35 female candidates; 11 of whom were successful in their municipalities. This year saw a marked increased with 46 female candidates contesting the municipal elections and 19 taking office.

This is an encouraging indicator for our country, especially in spirit of Women’s Month when there is a national focus on gender equality. True gender equality cannot be achieved without equal representation in the decision making process. The Special Envoy hopes that there will be a continued increase in the participation of women in politics and that public support for those women will also grow.

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Dorian Nuñez

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