The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in partnership with the Women’s Department ended a month-long series of activities in commemoration of Women’s Month on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, where 20 outstanding women form diverse backgrounds were recognized for their noteworthy contributions to their communities, organizations and country.
This year’s women’s month was celebrated under the theme: #PressforProgress. The theme encourages persons to reaffirm their commitment to take pragmatic action to accelerate parity.
During her welcome remarks, The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow thanked the awardees for their contributions and called on everyone, men included, to put their “shoulder to the wheel ” to realize a just and equitable society, and to ensure that everyone is able to realize their full potential. “Ladies and gentlemen, honoring and recognizing the contributions and achievements of women is in no way meant to minimize or devalue the contributions of men to our society. We need everyone’s shoulder to the wheel if we are to realize a just and equitable society. We need women and men working side by side, having the same opportunities to contribute their talents, skills and knowledge to advance the collective good. This is what gender equality is all about: women, men, girls and boys being able to access what they need to realize their fullest potential. So working towards gender equality is about breaking down barriers and leveling the playing fields. It is not about dismissing or disenfranchising the needs of any group. But the hard cold facts tell us that despite gains made in advancing their rights, women are still at a disadvantage in many ways. We still have a long way to go. That is why it is so important for us to highlight and celebrate women who despite all the adversities have made positive strides and contributions to inspire us and motivate us to continue the struggle,” Mrs. Barrow stated.
Among the Outstanding women recognized were Mrs. Kathleen “Kathy” Esquivel, Ms. Rhea Rogers, Mrs. Dorothy Menzies, Ms. Virginia Echols, Ms. Carla Banner and Nurse Emiliana Osorio. In addition to the 20 women that we're awarded, Mrs Barrow also recognized female cyclists, Ms. Alicia Thompson and Ms. Kaya Cattouse for their resilience, determination and exceptional performance in sports. Both ladies were given a monetary award for their tireless efforts in a largely male dominated sport.
The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Women's Department extends sincere gratitude to Mr. Raul Villanueva, Confetti, Grace Kennedy (Belize) Ltd., the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza and Mcnab Visual Strategies for helping to make the 13th Annual Outstanding Women's Awards Ceremony a success.