Give Barbados its first female Prime Minister!
This was the naked appeal made today by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to eligible voters, with an election due to take place here in less than 90 days.
While noting that women in Barbados had made significant strides over the years and that the island recently appointed its second female Governor General and its first woman Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the BLP said “unlike Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Dominica, Barbados is yet to have its first female prime minister.
“The forthcoming general election presents an historic opportunity for us to break this remaining glass ceiling and finally be on par with our CARICOM neighbours,” it said in a statement released by its chairman George Payne on the eve of International Women’s Day, which is being commemorated this year under the theme #PressforProgress.
While making no mention of the fact that the appointments of both female Governors General, as well as that of a woman DPP, were all made by Democratic Labour Party (DLP) governments, with two of those appointments taking place this year, Payne credited the 1976-81 Tom Adams-led BLP administration in particular, for its establishment of the landmark National Commission on the Status of Women, saying it served as a catalyst for the advancement of women’s rights.
“As a result, many qualified women today are in positions of leadership and influence across all sectors and at all levels of our society, joining hands with our men to make an invaluable contribution to national development,” he said.
While noting that his party had given Barbados its first female Member of Parliament, as well as its first Deputy Prime Minister, Payne also suggested that BLP’s record was “unmatched” in terms of promoting opportunities for the advancement of women, adding that “it is not surprising that its political leadership today is in the capable hands of a woman”.
And while proudly saluting Mia Mottley as his leader, the BLP spokesman promised that if the party forms the next Government, it would institute “family-friendly policies to ease the squeeze on women”.
“As we look forward in great humility to constituting the next Government of Barbados following the forthcoming general election, Team BLP is particularly mindful that women, as the head of most households on the island, have borne the brunt of the pressure resulting from the punishing economic measures resulting from the mismanagement of the outgoing DLP administration.
“An immediate priority for the new BLP administration will be the introduction of family-friendly policies to ease the squeeze on our women. These policies will also bring relief to our children and also our men,” Payne said.