Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Public Opinion Survey on National Values Finds Most Belizeans Believe in Fairness and Treating Others with Respect, Majority in Favour Of Laws that Protect Citizens From Discrimination 

14th September 2020 – In January 2020, the Live & Let Live campaign commissioned a public opinion survey on a range of issues in Belize, including national values, attitudes toward marginalised groups and views on discrimination.
 
Key findings from the survey:
  • Belizeans are tolerant and accept others for who they are or who they love. For example, only a minority of respondents reacted negatively to the possibility of having a single mother, a person of another race or a homosexual as a neighbour.
  • A majority of respondents support legislation that prohibits discrimination in employment and public spaces on the basis of sex, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • An overwhelming 96% of respondents believe that treating women with respect means ensuring that all women can work and go about all aspects of their lives without fear or being subject to discrimination.
  • Only half of respondents felt that women have sufficient protection from discrimination under current laws in Belize, whilst almost half believe women are paid unfairly compared to men.
  • Almost all respondents believe people with disability should be protected from discrimination in the workforce.
  • Less than 1 in 10 respondents believe that people with disability in Belize have equal rights.
  • A majority of respondents state they are likely to support the introduction of laws banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people.
  • A multitude of respondents believe that women, people with disability and gay people in Belize are treated unfairly.
  • A fifth of respondents believed that women in Belize had reason to fear for their safety at certain times. For LGBT people that figure rose to one third.


“We have always been a people who embody national values such as respect and tolerance for diversity, and this scientifically rigorous opinion survey clearly indicates our strong sense of community,”
says Dr. Minerva Pinelo, Campaign Coordinator for Live & Let Live. “For example, when we think about fairness, we also think about how we would like others to treat us.”

“We are facing unprecedented times. Stigma and discrimination against the most vulnerable members of our society must not be allowed to flourish and prevent access to healthcare and other essential services. Now, more than ever, is a time for compassion and good neighbourliness if we are to address the new challenges before us.”

Notes to editors:
  • A summary of the public opinion survey, including information on gender, age, religion and marital status of respondents, can be found here
  • Polling organisation: Borge Y Asociados – a Central American research and social science agency with over 25 years of experience in the region.
  • Date of survey: January 16-25 2020
  • Survey topics: demographics (gender, age, religion, education, socio-economic and marital status), Belizean values, tolerance and acceptance of marginalised groups, discrimination against specific groups (women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people [LGBT] people, people living with disability [PLWD]).
  • Study population: men (301) and women (315) over 18 years of age residing in Belize.
  • Sample size: 616 interviews in total, spread across the most densely populated districts (Belize, Cayo, Orange Walk) and taken from the list of registered voters obtained from the Supreme Electoral Council.
  • Collection technique: face to face, mobile device.
 
 
 
For more information and to arrange interviews contact:
Dr. Minerva Pinelo
T: +(501) 610-3922

 

Live and Let Live is a campaign rooted in Belizean values that aims to elevate the stories of real people who have faced discrimination – either personally or through the experience of their loved ones – and believe it’s time to spark a national conversation about the importance of treating all Belizeans with respect. This campaign will harness the power of personal stories and our shared values as Belizeans to build public support and understanding for our neighbours who have for too long been treated differently simply because of who they are.

ENDS