NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie S. Griffin encouraged a group of local and international corporate businesswomen to take on the mantle of the leaders of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and “show our sisters a better way.”
“We must help each other; we must empower each other; we must empower ourselves, and we must show our sisters a better way,” Mrs. Griffin admonished.
Addressing the opening session of the International Business Money Women Success Conference, 2013, under the theme: “Changing the Economic Status of the Bahamian Woman”, Minister Griffin told delegates that they must take on the same role as their predecessors in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and help to empower the less fortunate amongst them.
The 2013 Conference was designed to provide corporate businesswomen with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers by making themselves more marketable; more creative by developing their talents and increased business skills; how to manage and protect their wealth and unite with other women to network and build a better Bahamian business community.
Minister Griffin applauded delegates for their achievements in the corporate world thus far, but admonished them not to rest on their laurels as there is much work to be done to change the economic status of many Bahamian women — many of whom she said are living in poverty and struggling to feed their families.
Mrs. Griffin said if women are to change the economic status of their sisters, then they must be “adequately represented at the decision-making levels in all aspects of society and more of us need to step forward and make this happen whether it is in the church, the world of business, governance or in politics.”
“The world as we know it is changing at a rapid pace,” Mrs. Griffin said. “We are living in a technological and information age. To advance women’s opportunities in a sustained way, investing in the education and training of women and girls in non-traditional professions is needed. I therefore urge you to support and mentor young women in this regard.
“Let us never forget the words of Dame Dr. Doris Johnson and the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the 1959 Petition as they fought for our right to vote, coining the phrases: ‘Invincible womanhood; mother of men; ruler of the world.’
“Where is that invincible womanhood today? We are the inheritors of the struggle and it is our time to raise our ‘noble heads’ and continue the journey began by those great warriors of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
“There is no doubt in my mind that changing the economic status of the Bahamian woman will lead to prosperity not only for women themselves, but for their families, their communities ad the entire country,” Minister Griffin added.
Mrs. Griffin said the change will also require making more opportunities available for more women to become entrepreneurs and shapers of their own destiny.
“This,” Minister Griffin said, “will require training and resources for small business ventures including those that can be done from home. In addition to the other sectors, the financial sector of The Bahamas must be more responsive in developing and implementing services that are tailored to the needs of our women.”
The Social Services Minister applauded the efforts of Women’s Empowerment Guru, Wealth Coach and Conference Host, Ms. Melissa Hall, for her work in empowering women economically.
“These are major steps in the right direction. As the Suffragettes did not stop until they achieved their goal, we must not stop until women are empowered in our country — in their finances, in their relationships, in their spirits, in their families and in equality in the Constitution and the decision-making process of this country.
“My sisters, the journey continues. If we don’t do it, it won’t get done,” Mrs. Griffin added.