Many global efforts to decrease deforestation have focused on community-based conservation programmes to reach their goals. However, many such programmes are lacking a potentially helpful population, women. We employed key-informant interviews to examine attitudes towards, and barriers to, women's participation in a community-based conservation programme prior to implementation. We conducted 47 semi-structured interviews in January 2015 in communities adjacent to the Vaca Forest Reserve in the Cayo District of Belize. Results indicated that the benefits of involving women in community-based conservation activities included them learning more about the forest and conservation, transferring this knowledge to their family and community, and helping the environment. Some possible barriers to participation included lack of time and motivation to participate. However, there were notable differences between men's and women's responses relating to women's available time and their willingness to participate, with men not mentioning time as a barrier and stating that women would need more motivation to participate. The results will be used to work with local women to collaboratively develop and implement a community-based conservation programme around the Vaca Forest Reserve.