Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Gender Policy: Will it be thrown under the bus or will it be Rights-base

May 7th, 2014












We have seen the lengths to which our opponents would scheme, fearmonger, use scientific data to to misinform the public, like Regenrus and use professional mental health person like Dr. Debbie Pitts to help legitimize public positions. Appearing here on PlusTV show Rise and Shine.



We have also seen the battles have raged on at the Conference for Population and Development where a Consensus Document was agreed to in Montevideo, but CARICOM as a region, deviated  from using it as a base of negotiations.  We have seen negotiations on the UN Commission on the Status on Women watered down at the last minute as well. We have seen a local media who did not understand the OAS General Assembly system in Guatemala, labeled a Convention as "The Gender Policy Resolution Highly Debated!" More precisely we see bloggers misrepresenting statements made at the UN Commission on the State of Women by Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, further causing confusion and division  that are contrived. 

Today May 7th, 2014, The Belize Association of Evangelicals Churches leadership met with Belize Prime Minister at his Belize City office for 2 hours. The new Executive Team is made up of leaders from each district, plus Belmopan. The Belize Prayer network sight points out that there is a new ProTem Team to govern The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches until elections are held in October 2104. The Pro Tem teams consists of President Eugene Crawford and Treasurer Godfrey Usher plus the chairmen of the BAEC district chapters now in formation.

The site speaks of deputies and Scott Stirm has Lance Lewis and Richard Smith as Alternates. The Belize Prayer Network speaks of ensuring, " that each district is represented in future national meetings, leaders are appointing deputies to fill in when they must be absent. For example, Caleb Ortega, Chairman of the close-knit and long-enduring Iglesias Unidas (Churches United) in the Cayo District, sent Felipa Apolonia to the Oct. 21 BAEC meeting which he could not attend. Scott Stirm, Chairman of the Worship Together gatherings of dozens of churches around Belmopan, has designated Richard Smith and Lance Lewis as his alternates. BAEC President Crawford turns to Treasurer Usher to act in his place when he has a scheduling conflict. This kind of delegation, if practiced consistently, will make every meeting count for advancing God’s kingdom in Belize, with no district left out."


The Prime Minister made clear that “remarks reportedly made suggesting the Government proposing to move ahead on the National Gender Policy without the Church are not factual. The remarks, if made, do not reflect the position of the Govt., and Govt. will not move to implement the National Gender Policy without seeking agreement with the Churches.” He stated that “Govt. has now procured the professional advice on the Church’s submission and will soon be in a position to convene a meeting between Govt. and the Churches to reach consensus for the final document. That meeting is anticipated to happen by the end of July to allow time for Cabinet to analyze both submissions.”

Both the Evangelical Association and Council of Churches together submitted a joint report last year expressing concerns and making recommendations on the Gender Policy. Both Church bodies feel strongly about Biblical & Family Values, Constitutional protections of the family, and religious freedoms & convictions.

 While political engagement is part of the democratic process, and its the PM prerogative to prevent interruptions to policy when conflict arises in discussing development and health rights concerns,  the conclusion of the current dialogue will be interesting, as we remain curious to whether there will be a pragmatic approach, a theological-base approach or a rights-base approach that is inclusive. Anything that does not have women and girls at the heart of the decision, will be an injustice that promotes inequity. Anything that ignores the reality of marginalizes groups will be state sanction impunity that put theology over fundamental rights. At this point, we remain patience and await to see, whether we have elected leaders of a state, or bishops and pastors


Gender Policy Resolution Highly Debated
Source: http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/86344

ProTEM Team of BEAC
Source:http://belizeprayernetwork.com/2014/02/new-belize-church-leadership-arising/

Blogger John Goerke on Ann-Marie comments at UNCSW meeting
Source:http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/03/17/csw-58-catholics-and-evangelicals-bypassed-in-belize/

Dr. Debbie Pitts British Citizens
Source: http://amandala.com.bz/news/british-citizen-argues-decriminalizing-homosexuality/


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