Reflecting on 13 Years of Advocacy
Activism, and Visionary Public Service to Belize, 2007-2020
I am seized with emotion as I reflect on my time as Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children.
The enormity of the task that lay before me became apparent on my first countrywide tour as Special Envoy, in 2008. I met with women, children and families in their homes, and I was moved by what I saw and heard: a mother worried for her children’s future, a father who could not afford medical care or equipment for his sons born with a disability, and teens concerned about the planet.
They shared with me their stories of violence in their communities, their personal experiences of marginalization and discrimination, their hopes and dreams for their children and the future.
As everywhere, Belize is not without its problems – violence, exclusion, discrimination, gender bias. There is much work that remains to be done on behalf of those who are least served by our policies, laws and systems.
We must protect all children from violence. And we must empower women, so they have opportunity, representation, choice – and the power to make decisions for themselves and their families. We must level the playing field, to eliminate women’s disadvantage and give them an equal chance with men to succeed.
As a young girl growing up in Santa Elena, I learned from my parents that with focus, hard work and persistence I could achieve anything I set my sights on. As Special Envoy, I hoped to inspire others to do the same.
It has been a privilege to serve.
Kim Simplis Barrow, 2020
Highlights from the Afterword
Published in 2020 by
The Office of The Special Envoy For Women & Children
Belize City, Belize, Central America
G. Michael Bowen
Knight & Day Photography, Leonardo Melendez Photography, Lebawit Lily Girma Photography, Perry Bindelglass Photography, Will Moreno Photography, Life Graphix Photography, Olivera Rusu Photography, Ernie Alpuche Photography
Judith Alpuche, Laura Longsworth, Kendra Griffith, Delhanie Bain,
Mackeva Westby, Cindy Jones, Kayla Arthurs, Perla Hinojosa
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© 2020 Kim Simplis Barrow