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Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands recently participated in a guided tour of one of the Mobile Women Centers in northern Belize.

The Mobile Women Center is an outreach activity designed to create and deliver access to a coordinated set of essential services targeting women in rural and hard to reach areas of the country, especially those at risk for or survivors of gender based violence (GBV), and those with multiple and intersecting vulnerabilities. These centers are a key feature of the Spotlight Initiative in Belize and are dubbed an innovative practice.

The guided tour by UNFPA that leads on the implementation of the Mobile Women Centers in Belize, included an overview of the intake area, the information desks, and the various service areas. The civil society partners that implement these mobile women centers, provided overviews of the various service areas – sexual and reproductive health (SRH), pyschosocial support and counselling, legal assistance, GBV and SRH Information - and shared the experience of the service team in delivering the services, as well as the recurring themes of GBV, sexual & reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and migration issues, among those accessing the services.

The EU Ambassador and the wider delegation commended the coordination and conduct of the Mobile Women Center and the engagement with the civil society partners which lent itself to meaningful exchange of encouragement, commendation and insightful recommendations for continuing, strengthening, and sustaining this best practice in Belize.

The tour included the Office of the Resident Coordinator's Office for Belize and El Salvador, Birgit Gerstenberg as well as Heads of Agencies and Programme Officers from the Spotlight Initiative's Recipient UN Organizations (RUNO) in Belize - UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF - and team members of the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Belize. The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.