Belizean Social Justice Activist
Commonwealth Point of Light 222. Dorla Bowman
Dorla Bowman, representing Belize, aged 70, is one of the country’s leading social justice activists who has been dedicated for over 40 years to championing women’s rights and gender equality, and supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse.
Dorla, who formerly served on Belize City Council, founded ‘Belize Women’s Political Caucus’ to increase the election of women to national decision and policy-making positions. Most recently, she has created ‘Building People Movement’, a project to increase awareness of rights around sexual assault laws and support those affected by gender-based violence to find new life opportunities.
“WOW! I am delighted and humbled! It is wonderful to receive this honour in recognition of the service I have given, especially, my long and ongoing volunteer work of building the capacities of young people, to facilitate the building of broad-based human and social capital in Belize. May this award serve as an encouragement to those involved in community development, and an inspiration especially to our young people encouraging them to get involve in building people, communities, and a better world. Thank you, your Majesty, the Queen for your acknowledgement and this prestigious award.”
Claire Evans OBE, UK High Commissioner in Belize, said:
“Dorla is a worthy recipient of this award. Her vital work is helping tackle a global problem. Dorla’s commitment and determination through her voluntary advocacy work on human rights and gender based violence, over many years, has made a significant, positive impact on the lives of vulnerable women and children in Belize. In highlighting Dorla’s fantastic work, I hope this will also inspire other people to take up voluntary activity to help with their own communities. I am delighted that, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, I will get the privilege of presenting this award to Dorla. I take this opportunity to wish Dorla every continued success.”