Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tikkun Olam Response to the Gender Policy

NGO In Northern Belize Appeals To Locals to Read and Understand Gender Policy Jul 30, 2013  

For the past few weeks we have seen hundreds of Belizeans come out in support of the pro-constitution march led by Belize Action and Belize Can.  The two organizations led marches in all districts in a show of protest against the gender policy in its present form.  Now an organization in Orange Walk town is doing something similar, just this time it’s in support of the gender policy.

Tikkun Olam, an Orange Walk based NGO, seeking to educate Belizeans on the benefits of the gender policy 2013 will start it off with a standoff this Saturday in downtown Sugar City.
ELISA CASTELLANOS
“We are not organizing a march; it has been like a snowball effect but what we are planning to do is an activity of a standing and we want to send a strong message telling the public or asking and advising the public to take time, take a stand and read the gender policy. It is very important; we are not asking people to pick sides; what we are asking is for people to read for themselves and come to an opinion and come to an understanding of all the issues that the gender policy takes on.  This activity came about for me because I really felt violated and I felt that people were throwing in words like, ‘homosexuality’ and ‘gay rights’ to cover up and take away importance from the other issues which is that the gender policy is there as a tool to help women and as a woman in the community, I would like to ensure that there is a document out there that could be used as a tool for my protection.  At some point, I want to be married; at some point, I want to have children; at some point, I have to access health services; at some point, I want to develop myself as a woman in the community to be able to further effect change and so that is the reason why I am doing it.  I am just a bit unnerved that it’s taken on such a different connotation and people are throwing around words like, ‘homosexual’ or ‘LGBT rights’ and it’s really not about that.  This initiative is focused mainly on educating women and asking the public to really just read the gender policy; read the Bible, read the Qur’an, read whatever you want to read; just make sure you read, understand and can form your own opinions and not let Church-led initiatives or any initiatives for that matter, you don’t have to listen to me but I am asking you very neutrally and objectively to read the gender policy.”

The NGO director says they have support from National AIDS Commission and PASMO as well.
ELISA CASTELLANOS
“Like I said, it’s not a grand initiative we’re inviting everybody who supports the gender policy and who would like to really send a message out there that it’s necessary to be read, they can join us.  You can find me on Facebook, Elisa Castellanos or my cell number at 623-9500 for any questions, comments or suggestions and please no threats.”
Elisa Castellanos, Director of Tikul Olam. 

Source: http://www.lovefm.com/local_news.php?item=2340

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