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“General Voter Bias” for electing Men in Belize, Human Rights report observers note

Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2024. 4:06 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The U.S. State Department released the 2023 Human Rights report on Belize last week.

The report cited that “Observers noted that cultural and societal constraints, including strong discouragement from family members and a general voter bias for electing men, limited the number of women running for elected office.”

As Belize prepares for General Elections in 2025, a glaring gender gap in political representation has emerged, as a significantly low number of women have stepped forward as candidates for electoral office.

In addition, of the total candidates applying to run for political office in major political parties, women represent only a fraction highlighting a systemic imbalance in the political landscape of Belize.

Deep-rooted societal norms, cultural expectations, and structural obstacles continue to impede women’s participation in politics, hindering the realization of gender parity in elected offices.

Advocacy groups continue to urge political parties to adopt inclusive policies that actively promote and support the candidacy of women.

The issue of gender disparity in politics is not unique to Belize but reflects a global challenge that demands collective attention and concerted efforts to address.

As the country prepares to cast its votes in the upcoming General elections, the spotlight on the underrepresentation of women serves as a critical reminder of the unfinished work towards achieving gender equality in all spheres of society.

 

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