Initial and second periodic reports dated 1 November 1996 (CEDAW/C/BLZ/1-2)
Belize is often advertised as a "diverse, peaceful, English-speaking democracy" with "the best diving in the world, dramatic Mayan ruins looming out of untouched jungle, and restaurants that serve fried chinchilla."1 In recent years, the unspoiled and abundant fauna and flora of this tiny country on the crossroads between Latin America and the Caribbean has become a favorite eco-tourist destination. But anthropologist Irma McClaurin points out there is another "ugly" Belize, marked by underdevelopment, with its reliance on imports from industrialized countries, inadequate technology and health care, and high unemployment.
With a population of 200,000, Belize is the least populated nation in the Caribbean. Despite its size, however, the country's inhabitants represent a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures. The country's main ethnic groups are the Creoles, Garifuna (or Garinagu), Mestizo, Hispanic, Maya and English. English is the official language but Creole, Spanish, Garifuna and Mayan languages are widely spoken throughout the country. The majority of Belize's population is Roman Catholic, but British influence has resulted in sizeable and varied groups of Protestants, including German Swiss Mennonites. The Mayan practice of Catholicism fuses shamanist-animist and Christian rituals.
Belize (formerly British Honduras) gained independence from Great Britain on 21 September 1981, but it has practiced self-government since 1964. Although the country retains its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the Queen of England appoints the governor general, political allegiance to Great Britain is largely ceremonial.
The country boasts a history free of coups de etat and has remained relatively untouched by ethnic strife. Belize is governed by a cabinet with a powerful prime minister who has executive power. The country also has a bicameral legislature (the National Assembly), and an independent judiciary. The People's United Party (PUP), one of the two main political parties, won by an unprecedented margin (twenty-six out of twenty -nine parliamentary seats) in the country's August 1998 general elections. The new prime minister, Said Musa, won on the campaign promise to develop and implement an aggressive series of economic and political reforms designed to improve the economy, increase government accountability and encourage local self-government.2
Despite the existence of various political groups, two parties, the People's United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP), have dominated politics in Belize and have alternated heading the government since the 1980s. As in the rest of the region, political loyalties are personalized and allegiances to either party are often family or friend-based. In reality, there are only slight ideological differences between the two parties. Both have included and appealed to all classes and sectors of society. Although the UDP is more outspokenly anti-Communist and supportive of the United States, both parties support the capitalist system with its reliance on private enterprise and foreign investment. According to one commentator, PUP and UDP share the conviction that the role of the parties is to contain "conflict of class interest."3 However, typically when in opposition, the parties tend to identify more with the working class and the poor, and while in office, they become more conservative.4
Agroexports (sugar, bananas, citrus fruit) are the mainstay of the economy, contributing thirty percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fifty percent of the country's workforce works in agriculture and fishing, although just two percent of the arable land is used for agriculture.5 Tourism, with a heavy emphasis on eco-tourism, is an increasingly important source of income. Possessing the second largest barrier reef in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the country's profits from tourism constitute twenty percent of the GDP and bring in the largest earnings of foreign exchange.6
Roughly eighty percent of Belize's exports are traded under preferential agreements with industrialized countries.7 The country's main trading partners are the United States and the European Union. Many analysts fear that the application of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will eventually undermine Belize's trade relationship with the US in favor of hemispheric free trade, but this has so far not been a major threat.8 Along with its neighbors, Belize has requested that preferential trade policies under NAFTA be expanded to include the Caribbean region. Caribbean nations are required to enter into any such agreement as a bloc, so several countries in the region have been liberalizing regional trade policies for the past year.9 Belize also takes advantage of preferential trade rights stemming from its membership in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and other regional trade organizations.
Belize has taken steps to attract foreign investment while minimizing environmental exploitation, which it recognizes as crucial to continue attracting eco-tourists. In the 1980s, the government took a series of initiatives (passing the National Park System Act and the Wildlife Protection Ordinance) to provide legal protection for the environment and create new parks and reserves. According to Musa, the government discourages extractive and wasteful industries such as exporting timber, instead promoting the clothing, furniture, shrimp farming, boats and batteries industries.10
Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the Central American region in November 1998, left Belize largely intact. The country's Barrier Reef helped to break walls of water, and the storm circled almost completely around Belize, striking Honduras, southern Guatemala and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Government officials estimate that just two percent of the nation's 90,000 square miles were damaged by the hurricane.11
Labor and Unions
The official unemployment rate stands at 12.9 percent,12 but unofficial estimates put it as high as thirty-five percent.13 Unemployment is twice as high for women as it is for men (fifteen percent compared to seven percent). At twenty percent, women in rural areas have the highest unemployment figures. Ironically, while urban unemployment rates keep getting worse, the agricultural sector experiences labor shortages. Prime Minister Musa has vowed to create 15,000 new jobs by 2001.14
Only eleven percent of the workforce is unionized in one of the country's eleven independent unions. With the exception of teachers, as well as the agricultural and the public sectors, unions are weak and strikes are uncommon. Although workers may freely join unions, they face numerous obstacles if they decide to do so.15
In many cases, workers' attempts to form trade unions are obstructed by employers. In a 1997 report, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) singled out the banana industry as having the worst record of workers' rights violations. According to the report, employers in the banana industry, particularly in the Stann Creek area, represented by the Banana Growers Association, have blocked workers' attempts to form unions since the 1980s. Workers who are already members of unions or who try to join them face harassment from the police.16 Further inhibiting workers' rights, the Constitution does not require employers to recognize unions as bargaining entities.17 Human rights monitors accuse employers of blocking union organization by firing key union sympathizers, usually on grounds ostensibly unrelated to union activities. Although a worker may file a complaint with the Labor Department for redress, it is virtually impossible to prove that the termination was due to union activity.18
The government provides free universal health care to Belizeans and officially states that good public health is essential to improving socio-economic conditions. 19 According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), eighty-eight percent of the population has access to services through the state network, which includes seven hospitals, rural clinics and mobile clinics.20 The common complaint is that the state-run system provides only primary and very basic care. Moreover, the quality of these services varies considerably.21
Although less serious in number and gravity that in other Central American countries, human rights abuses do occur in Belize. The areas of concern include the lack of labor protection, police brutality, poor prison conditions, discrimination against immigrants and violations of women's human rights.22 The situation has improved somewhat since the founding of the Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) in 1987. Unlike human rights activists in other countries of the isthmus, the HRCB and other groups in Belize have broadened the concept of human rights to include demands for respect of basic economic
and social rights. The HRCB links crime and drug problems to younger people's lack of access to education and employment. The HRCB has also actively promoted children's rights.23
Freedom of Speech and Media
Although the Constitution contains provisions protecting freedom of speech and of the press, it also allows the government to make "reasonable provisions" in the interests of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health. These provisions include prohibiting citizens from questioning the validity of public officials' financial disclosure statements. Those who question these statements orally or in writing outside a rigid documenting system face a fine of up to $5,000, three years' imprisonment, or both.24
The government recently privatized the state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of Belize. The government indicated that the sale would save approximately 2.5 million Belize dollars (US $1.25 million), which would be reallocated to education and health programs.25 However, many Belizeans criticize government leaders- who won the elections on a promise of creating jobs-for the loss of jobs resulting from the sale.26
Although a wide variety of interests and opinions are generally represented in the press (usually without government interference), there are some exceptions. In 1998, the Minister of Broadcasting threatened to discontinue the license of one radio station, on the pretext that the station violated the public morality provision of the Constitution. Some media reports indicate that the threat was politically motivated, because the owner of the station was a member of an opposition party.27
Immigration and Emigration
As a result of civil wars, repression and economic difficulties in some Latin American countries, Belize has received over 40,000 immigrants and refugees in the past twenty years, mainly from El Salvador and Guatemala. Despite traditions of ethnic diversity, intermarriages and cultural tolerance, the country's "melting-pot" ideals have increasingly become more theoretical than real.
Hispanic migrants are a particular source of tension in Belize. Twenty years ago Hispanics were considered a negligible minority, but they recently replaced Creoles as the country's largest ethnic group.28 Many migrated to Belize seeking better employment and living conditions.29 Spanish speaking immigrants throughout the country report to human rights groups serious discrimination, including inequitable hiring practices and disparities in enforcement of the law. According to one Salvadoran farmer, "There is a lot of racism here. . . We have to work for ourselves, because the Belizeans don't like us and they don't give us work."30
Immigrants have been subjected to ill-treatment by the police, mass deportations, alleged torture and employment discrimination.31 The government has been criticized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for its unwritten policy requiring refugees to live in Belize for ten years before applying for citizenship. In contrast, nonrefugee residents are required to live in the country for just only years before becoming eligible to apply.32
At the same time, since World War II, native Belizeans (primarily Creoles) have been emigrating to the United States in search of better employment and education opportunities. During the 1980s women constituted the majority of Northbound emigrants. 33 As a result, Belize today is a very young country; half of the population is under eighteen years old, and it is not uncommon for grandparents to bring up children.34
STATUS OF WOMEN IN BELIZE UNDER SPECIFIC CEDAW ARTICLES:
The following section on the status of women under specific CEDAW articles was compiled based on interviews with Lisa Shoman, attorney, head of the Belize Bar Association and human rights activist, as well as reports prepared by the Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) in September 1997.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 2 - MEASURES TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION
The Belize government report (CEDAW/C/BLZ/1-2), dated 1 November 1996, states that it has set up a machinery within the government that is responsible for the advancement of women. Lisa Shoman, attorney and head of the Belize Bar Association, told IWRAW in an interview 29 September 1997 that the Department of Women's Affairs can have only a limited impact primarily because of serious underfunding (according to the government's own report to CEDAW, it receives only 0.10 percent of the budget). According to Shoman, the government-sponsored National Women's Commission "does not have any clout." Several sources have emphasised the "lack of political will" in the government to advance the status of women as the main obstacle to change.35
CONVENTION ARTICLE 3 - BASIC RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
According to a 1991 report prepared by the Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB), the Belize City Prison is notoriously overcrowded. Given police inefficiency in assembling evidence, it is common for prisoners to await trial for several months. While they wait, they sleep on cardboard sheets on cement floors, with open windows, no toilets and no medical care. Although these conditions affect both male and female prisoners, the HRCB report emphasises that female prisoners find themselves in a particularly difficult situation. Since no educational or training programs are offered, they often remain locked and idle for most of their prison stay.36
CONVENTION ARTICLE 4 - TEMPORARY SPECIAL MEASURES
The government's report to CEDAW acknowledges that although women constitute over half of secondary school students and achieve higher scores on standardized tests and have higher graduation rates than male students, they remain seriously underrepresented in skilled and professional positions. The government's report states that "the government has not considered the potential need for affirmative action provisions" for women. Sources emphasized the importance of equal opportunities for women in employment for their advancement in society. As one activist, Jewel Patton-Quallo, put it: " the bottom line is economics. Women not being independent so that they can stand on their own is a big problem."37
CONVENTION ARTICLE 5 - SEX ROLES AND STEREOTYPING
Anthropologist Irma McClaurin, who conducted extensive research in Belize for her book Women in Belize, reported that women's value in Belize comes primarily from their roles as wives and mothers. Their assigned role in society is "reproduction and social reproduction," and they are judged based on how they fulfil these roles.38
The government report acknowledges that the "pattern of unequal relations between women and men is consistently found throughout the country." Yet the government has taken few concrete steps to promote women through programs and campaigns targeted at changing gender stereotypes. Lisa Shoman said that any classes sponsored and organized for women are to teach them cooking, sewing and other traditionally female tasks.39
CONVENTION ARTICLE 6 - PROSTITUTION AND TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN
The British military presence along the border with Guatemala, growth of the tourist industry, mass labor migration and increasing unemployment rates have led to the development and expansion of the prostitution industry in Belize. There is no legislation that specifically prohibits prostitution or the exploitation of prostitutes. According to one recent report, one or more "dance hall owners" have recruited women from neighboring countries by promising them jobs as dancers, waitresses or housekeeping. When they arrive in the country, often illegally, the employer takes their passports, forces them to engage in prostitution and holds their wages. Despite police investigations, no arrests have been made.40
Although the government recognizes the need to promote improved health standards for sex workers, the incidence of HIV/AIDS continues to increase at an alarming rate, and Belize has the second highest HIV/AIDS rate in Central America.41 Moreover, existing laws do not indicate a serious commitment to suppressing the trafficking and exploitation of women. There is no legislation specifically prohibiting trafficking or the exploitation of prostitutes.42 Existing laws define prostitution as a "petty crime," and exclusively penalize sex workers, not their clients.
CONVENTION ARTICLES 7 AND 8 - POLITICAL AND PUBLIC LIFE
Women in the Government
Very few Belizean women hold decision-making positions in the government, although women's representation in political leadership positions is increasing slightly. Between 1975-1993 there were only three women in the government as heads of departments. In 1998, six out of twelve magistrates were women. As of November 1998, women held four seats in the thirty-eight-member parliament (10.53 percent), a cabinet of sixteen included one woman (6.25 percent), and ten women (out of fifty-eight) served in local government (17.24 percent).43
Political parties do not encourage women's participation and do little to support their advancement in party ranks. As members of political parties, women are relegated to roles of organizers, vote-getters and food providers. Kathy Esquivel, founder of the National Women's Commission, told anthropologist Irma McClaurin that the notion of women as subordinates is deeply embedded in the culture, and it often prevents women from trying to become successfully involved in the political arena. According to Esquivel, women also face resistance when trying to follow their own style in politics. When their style is compared to the dominant male style, which is highly individualistic and adversarial, women are often viewed as ineffective.44
The UN Decade for Women (1976-1985) gave impetus to women organizing in Belize. Unlike in the past, when women's groups were linked to the church and did charitable work, the 1980s saw increased organizing around women's issues. Women who have not been able to pursue their interests through mainstream political parties and the government have formed non-governmental organizations focusing on various areas of special concern. The Belize Organization for Women and Development (BOWAND), organized in 1979, works to improve the socioeconomic conditions of urban and rural women. In 1992, BOWAND launched a minimum wage campaign on behalf of domestic workers. The Belize Rural Women's Association (BRWA) based in Belmopan was founded in 1985. Belize Against Violence (WAV) worked to raise awareness of rape and battering and sponsored a series of legislative measures relating to violence against women. In recent years, NGOs have struggled because of inadequate funding, and while BOWAND and several others are still in existence, BRWA and WAV are no longer active.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 10 - EDUCATION
Research conducted by Belizean NGOs indicates that teenage pregnancy accounts for a large number of high school dropouts. The government's report states that majority of secondary schools expel pregnant students, and it is not uncommon for women to be prevented from continuing their education. Despite this acknowledgement, the government has not taken any decisive measures to stop this practice, and there is no support system to enable women to resume their education following childbirth, such as childcare and financial support.
NGOs have also campaigned against gender stereotyping in Belizean schoolbooks, which emphasize traditional gender roles.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 11 - EMPLOYMENT
The government's report states that "gender bias continues to be a glaring feature of the labor market."45 Despite constitutional provisions on equal pay for equal work, women consistently receive less pay than men for the same work and occupy lower level positions even in occupations where they predominate. For instance, even though over seventy percent of primary school teachers are female, only forty-five percent of principals are female. The majority of women in Belize are concentrated in traditionally female, low status and poorly paid occupations such as manufacturing, tourism, and domestic work. The Belizean Labor Act, which regulates working conditions, does not extend to several traditionally female occupations such as shop assisting and domestic work.
Women who have tried to form unions to protest working conditions have met with a complete lack of support from the government and with outright repression. For instance, the Women Workers Union (WWU) formed in 1991 to protest degrading working conditions in the Civic Textile Company (a Taiwanese garment company)46 and low salaries in export-processing zones (EPZs) in Belize.47 The company fired the union leaders and most local members who went on strike, and WWU eventually fell apart. The Belize government went on to grant the company an exemption from the country's Labor Act.48
Discriminatory employment practices in Belize have contributed to the growing correlation between gender and poverty. The Caribbean region has recorded the highest proportion of female-headed households in the world (34.6 percent) and Belize particularly has recorded a high incidence of poverty in such households. The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that of those who were out of a job for more than twelve months, two-thirds were women.49 Women also find it more difficult than men to obtain business and agricultural financing.50 Another important factor inhibiting women's opportunities to work is the scarcity of childcare services both in rural and urban areas. The government does not support or subsidize childcare.
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) reports that women (mostly immigrants from other Central American countries) employed in the banana industry work in hazardous and degrading conditions. ICFTU also reported that women are "regularly subjected to sexual harassment" by the security guards.51 According to the ICFTU report, the government allies itself with employers and has done nothing to enforce the employment law and investigate and prosecute violators.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 12 - HEALTH CARE AND FAMILY PLANNING
Although Belize provides health services to its citizens, many women, especially in rural areas, do not receive adequate care. According to the 1995 report by the Pan American Heath Organization (PAHO), more than forty percent of women seen at prenatal clinics are anemic. Women from the Garífuna and Ketchi Maya ethnic groups showed serious iron and vitamin A deficiencies.52
Abortion is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years.53 However, abortion is available from lay practitioners. PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked illegal abortion as the number one cause of death among women in Belize.54 The high incidence of cervical cancer and infertility among Belizean women has been linked to the high rates of illegal abortions.
In 1988, nearly seventy percent of all children were born to single mothers, and the trend has been increasing. In 1985, UNICEF reported that Belize had one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in the Central American region, and that one of five births was a result of an adolescent pregnancy.55 Yet the Catholic Church, which plays a dominant role in the public education system, has openly opposed any sex education classes, arguing that these programs would "encourage the young to use contraceptives" and give them "permission to be sexually active."56 According to McClaurin, the task of informing women about contraceptives and other issues related to their reproductive health has largely been in the hands of private doctors and nongovernmental organizations. But according to WHO data, only about ten percent use private family planning.57
Belize has since 1992 ranked second (after Honduras) in Central America in AIDS incidence.58 According to a recent report by PAHO, Belize has 138 reported cases of AIDS,59 but according to Belize's National AIDS Program (NAP) the number may be as high as two thousand.60
In recent years, there has been an increase in AIDS incidence among women. NAP's director, Dr. Jorge Polanco, has cited sexual exploitation as one of the causes. Polanco called for policies targeted at the prevention of the transmission of the disease which would include education programs for teenagers.61 A study conducted by McClaurin indicates that only two percent of women who perceive themselves to be at risk use any kind of preventive measures.
CONVENTION ARTICLE 14 - RURAL WOMEN
Women in rural areas have the most limited access to government services. Educational and health services offered in rural zones are inferior to those offered in urban areas. For instance, the rural Toledo district has the lowest ratio of qualified primary school teachers. This situation results in a low educational attainment of rural women. The mostly rural Mayas have the lowest literacy rate in the country.
At twenty percent, rural women also have the highest unemployment rate in the country. The government's report cites historical reasons for the absence of women small farmers in the heavily Maya-populated areas of Corozal, Orange Walk and Toledo and for women's dependence on male "breadwinners." During the 1996 World Food Summit, Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel, stated that "Belize wanted to break the vicious circle of dependency within rural communities" and "we must develop great entrepreneurship, know-how and self-reliance at the grassroots levels, creating opportunities for equal participation by women, youth and the marginalized poor."62 Despite these pronouncements, the government has introduced no specific program of action aimed at changing the pattern and stimulating employment of women in rural zones.
GENERAL RECOMMENDATION # 19 - VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Domestic violence is one of the most serious problems of women in Belize; according to information provided by Women Against Violence (WAV), ninety percent of violent crimes against women are perpetrated by their partner or spouse.63 Violent crimes against women result in deaths and disfigurements from mutilations, burnings and beatings.64 This type of violence affects women of all ethnicities and occupational status.
Despite the known existence of domestic abuse in Belize, discussion of the problem continues to be taboo. According to McClaurin, in the Belizean culture, women are under the "protection" of men and seen as their subordinates. "Women who speak about matters such as domestic violence (often viewed as "private" or "family" matter) incur great personal and emotional risks," McClaurin wrote.65 Belizean writer Zee Edgell, explored the topic of domestic abuse in her recent novel entitled The Festival of San Joaquin. The protagonist, who was systematically abused by her partner, expresses the common attitude of women who are socialized to feel that they should tolerate abusive behavior: "I believed the words of God in the Bible. I believed that even thought I was only a common-law wife, I should obey my common-law husband, as I would obey God. I believed that the man is the head to which the woman's body is united, just as Jesus Christ is the head of the church."66
According to Lisa Shoman, such attitudes persist and women are still reluctant to come forward mainly because of the lack of an adequate support system. Police are not interested in domestic violence cases and the government does not provide training programs for officers. When Shoman offered to provide training for the police, she was turned down. The only shelter for victims of domestic abuse run by the government in Belize City does not meet the need.67
Women face serious legal obstacles even if they decide to prosecute the offender. Existing statutes allow for the introduction of women's past sexual activity as rape defense. The law does not protect women from marital rape.
ACTIONS BY OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY BODIES PERTAINING TO WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS
Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Belize. 31/01/99. CRC/C/15/Add.99.
Summary of Recommendations:
1 Lonely Planet: Destination Belize, available at http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dest/cam/belize.htm, accessed 30 September 1997. back
2 Economist Intelligence Unit, "Belize: Country Update," 25 January 1999, Nexis, 28 March 1999. back
3 Assad Shoman, Party Politics in Belize: 1950-1986 (Belize, Central America: Cubola Productions, 1987), 58-59. back
4 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 11. back
5 Americas Review World of Information, Belize: Americas Review 1998, March 1998, Nexis, 27 March 1999. back
6 Don Bohning, "Belize Seeks to Diversify Economy," Miami Herald, 21 December 1998, Nexis, 30 March 1999. back
7 "Guatemala and Belize: Central America's link to the North American Market," FT Asia Intelligence Wire, 1 February 1998, on-line, Nexis, 4 April 1999. back
8 Ibid. back
9 Charles Thurston, "Building Blocs: Central America Forges Trade Group," Journal of Commerce, 8 June 1998, Nexis, 20 March 1999. back
10 "Guatemala and Belize: Central America's link to the North American Market," FT Asia Intelligence Wire, 1 February 1998, Nexis, 4 April 1999. back
11 "Belize Tells Industry Everything's Fine," Information Access Company, 30 November 1998, Nexis, 23 April 1999. back
12 "Musa sweeps Esquivel Aside; 'Jobs and Houses' Pledges Carry Opposition to Victory," Latin America Regional Report: Caribbean and Central America, 29 September 1998, Nexis, 4 April 1999. back
13 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 95. back
14 Rhae Cashif, "Belize: New Government Gets Down to Business," Global Information Network, 11 September 1998, on-line, Nexis, 4 April 1999. back
15 International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1997 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights (Brussels: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1997), 39. back
16 Ibid. back
17 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
18 Ibid. back
19 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 109. back
20 Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Profiles: Belize, 15 September 1995, available at http://www.paho.org/, accessed on 3 September 1997. back
21 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 109. back
22 Ibid, 109 back
23 Ibid, 35. back
24 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
25 "Broadcasting Corporation to be Wound up," BBC (Source: Cana News Agency), 20 November 1999 Nexis, 23 April 1999. back
26 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
27 Ibid. back
28 "Immigrants to Belize Find Predjudice in Racially Mixed Land," Houston Chronicle, 17 January 1999, on-line, Nexis, 23 April 1999. back
29 Ibid. back
30 Ibid. back
31 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 34. back
32 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
33 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 125-126. back
34 Interview with Joel D. Wainwright, student, 10 September 1997. back
35 Interview with Lisa Shoman, attorney, 29 September 1997. back
36 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 34-35. back
37 Quoted in Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 121. back
38 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize. Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 19. back
39 Interview with Lisa Shoman, 29 September 1997. back
40 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
41 "Mapping Progress-Assessing Implementation of the Beijing Platform 1998" Women's Environment and Development Organization, 11 November 1998, Nexis, 6 April 1999. back
42 Ibid. back
43 Ibid. back
44 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize. Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 174. back
45 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 96. back
46 For instance, the 120 workers had to share four washbasins during a half-hour lunch break; there were only six toilets available for them; the company provided stools instead of chairs with backrests for a nine-hour work day, and women were locked in the facility without the possibility to open its gates in case of an emergency, etc. back
47 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 96. back
48 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 105-107. back
49 Wesley Gibbings, "Caribeean-Population: Startling Figures Send Governments Planning," Inter Press Service, 28 October 1996. back
50 US Department of State, Belize Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), 26 February 1999. back
51 International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1997 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights (Brussels: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1997), 39. back
52 Pan American Health Organization, Country Health Profiles: Belize, 15 September 1995, available at http://www.paho.org/, accessed 3 September 1997. back
53 "Mapping Progress-Assessing Implementation of the Beijing Platform 1998" Women's Environment and Development Organization, 11 November 1998, Nexis, 6 April 1999. back
54 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 120. back
55 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize. Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 69-70. back
56 Ibid, 73-74. back
57 Tom Barry, Inside Belize (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992), 111. back
58 "Mapping Progress-Assessing Implementation of the Beijing Platform 1998" Women's Environment and Development Organization, 11 November 1998, on-line, Nexis, 6 April 1999. back
59 "Central America to Tackle Growing AIDS Problem," Reuters, 13 March 1997. back
60 Rae Cashif, "Belize-Health: Making the Link Between the AIDS and Production," Inter Press Service, 24 September 1997. back
61 Ibid. back
62 "Food Summit: Caribbean Sees Threats to Agriculture, Trade," Inter Press Service, 15 November 1996. back
63 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize. Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 80-81. back
64 Ibid, 4. back
65 Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize. Gender and Change in Central America (New Brunswick, NJ:Rutgers University Press,1996), 14. back
66 Zee Edgell, The Festival of San Joaquin, (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishers, 1997), 16. back
67 Interview with Lisa Shoman, 29 September 1997. back
COPYRIGHT© 2009 All materials on this web site copyright of International Women's Rights Action Watch, University of Minnesota, USA