Left to Right: Tracy Panton, Nick Francis & Taitu Heron
Press Release
March 11, 2022
CDU offers young women’s leadership training in Belize

The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), Programme; the Women and Development Unit (WAND), UWI Open Campus; the LeadHership Institute; and the UDP’s National Organization of Women (NOW) is engaged in a 10 week leadership training certificate programme for young women aged 18-25 years in Belize. This pilot programme was initiated by Tracy Panton who serves as vice chair for Women and Minorities on the CDU Board, a release from the New Democratic Party (NDP) states. Twenty-five young women from UDP NOW who have an interest in governance, leadership and political participation are currently engaged in the programme which focuses on several key areas including Women in Politics, Advocacy Tools, Media Training and Public Speaking. Additionally, the young trainees will engage in a field trip to the Belize House of Parliament this week.

Sessions are facilitated virtually via the Zoom platform inclusive of practical exercises and group work for assimilation of learning.

Panthon said : “It is critically important for democracies to function optimally for women to have a place at the decision-making table. “We must empower our young women by providing opportunities for them to develop their leadership skills and to engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers”.

And Nick Francis, General Secretary of the CDU noted that: “As we continue our work towards increasing women’s political participation in the Caribbean region, initiatives such as this training programme in Belize will help to keep women’s leadership and gender equality at the forefront of our political and social discourse.”

The training sessions for the 25 participants commenced on January 29, 2022 and will culminate in a graduation ceremony on Saturday, March 26, 2022 where certificates will be awarded.