The second 20,000 Strong Women's Empowerment Rally brought together thousands of women from across Belize in another massive show of unity. They were joined by an impressive showing of men supporting the movement for equality. The crowd marched from Memorial Park to the rally grounds at the Marion Jones Stadium.
This year, the national rally focused on empowering women through financial independence. The guest speaker for the event was Cecile Watson, a major advocate for entrepreneurship in the Caribbean who delivered a powerful message of empowerment and sisterhood. She is the Founder of Pitch & Choose, a crowdfunding platform for the Caribbean, and Gr8Way Consulting, through which she supports entrepreneurs, from pre-startups to large brands. Belizean entrepreneurs, Mapye Smith and Crystal Samos, also shared stories of their struggles and the journey to success, encouraging other aspiring entrepreneurs to take up the challenge for the upliftment of their families.
The highlight of the Rally was the announcement of the 20-4-20 Women’s Economic Development Program. 20-4-20 will provide micro-funding, training and mentors for women to start small businesses or expand existing businesses with sustainability as the core objective.
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, used the occasion to encourage women to support each other and celebrate each other’s success. She also applauded the men who supported the rally and shared a reminder that gender equality is not only a women’s issue, saying “This struggle is about all of us. This struggle is about the future of our children, the betterment of our society and our world.”
Mrs. Simplis Barrow would like to thank the National Women’s Commission for collaborating on this project, the Government of Belize and private sector partners who supported the event as well as the women of the planning committee who guided the process, and the women and men of Belize who came out in such large numbers.