The Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), in partnership with the National Women’s Commission with support from the Spotlight Initiative, embarked on a project “Engaging Men and Boys to advance gender equality and help prevent gender-based violence.”

This two-fold project included a “training of trainers” session to empower men and boys to understand the dynamics of gender-based violence and commit to helping end all forms of violence. After successfully completing this segment, participants were invited to facilitate workplace training sessions.  Participants included members from Belize Defence Force, Police Department, Belize Coast Guard, Department of Youth Services and other corporate bodies.

In phase 2 of the project, virtual “training of trainers” sessions were held using a similar format, focusing on engaging youth. Members from 17 youth organizations successfully completed the training sessions.

The next step was to host ten training sessions with youth organizations in Belize. On 23 October 2021, phase 2 of the project facilitated a training session with the Belize City Youth Shadow Council members. The session incorporated themes including gender, self-esteem, masculinity and accountability. It culminated with a semi-formal debate on domestic violence and the law.

The goal of the training sessions was to challenge deep-rooted cultural and social norms that can lead to violence, unpack varying perceptions on gender and empower boys and girls to be a part of the change to realize a gender-equal Caribbean that is free of violence.