The PLP notes with surprise and sadness the articles appearing in one of the local dailies on the 19th and 20th of April 2010 about the apparent discontent within the ranks of the Free National Movement (FNM) about the reported “disappearance of FNM women in prominent levels of national life.”
The PLP wishes to reiterate that its record in pursuit of gender equality and the empowerment of women are legendary and second to none in the annals of Bahamian history. We applaud the significant roles women have played and continue to play in shaping the modern Bahamas and in facilitating its sustained growth and development.
It is worthy of note that in its recent history, nine women contested seats on the PLP ticket in the 2002 general elections and of that number, all nine served in both chambers of the House during both legislative sessions between 2002 and 2007. During this time these talented women were assigned significant portfolios and positions of responsibilities in the Christie government. The Hon. Cynthia “Mother” Pratt became the first woman to hold the post of Deputy Leader of a political party in the Bahamas and the first to hold the post of Deputy Prime Minister; she performed admirably as acting Prime Minister.
Further, four of the eight women who were elected to the House of Assembly in 2002 served as substantive ministers in the Christie Government. Cynthia “Mother” Pratt served as Minister of National Security; Allyson Maynard-Gibson served as Minister of Financial Services and Attorney General; Melanie Griffin served as Minister of Social Development; and Glenys Hanna-Martin served as Minister of Transport and Aviation.
Veronica Owens served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Agatha Marcelle served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works.
As the PLP continued its evolution and maturity as a political organization, this dynamic organization embraced change and blazed new trails by electing the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin as the first female National Chairman of a major political party in the Bahamas.
We in the New Providence women’s branch of the PLP are proud of our party’s record of opportunity and empowerment of women. We express confidence in our organization that the future of women in the PLP is secure as we work united with our male counterparts in one goal and one purpose which is to realize our party’s vision of building the Bahamas into the best little country in the world.