September 20, 2021
A LOCAL organisation has called on the seven women elected to the House of Assembly to join its advocacy for the promotion, protection and expansion of all women's human rights.
In a statement issued yesterday, Equality Bahamas also encouraged all parliamentarians to create a culture of gender sensitivity and publicly acknowledging the diverse and specific experiences of women and girls — including LBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, women experiencing poverty, and women engaged in unpaid care work — and the gender-specific response needed.
All seven of the Progressive Liberal Party’s women candidates — Leslia Brice, Patricia Deveaux, JoBeth Coleby-Davis, Glenys Hanna Martin, Pia Glover-Rolle, Lisa Rahming and Ginger Moxey — were elected to Parliament last week.
“We call on the women in Parliament to recognise women and girls as their shared constituency,” said Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas.
“A gender-sensitive approach is needed at all levels of governance. This includes engaging constituents, drafting legislation, developing policies, designing and executing programmes and activities and contributing to the national budget.”
The group said the advancement of women and the country does not depend on the seven women but requires all parliamentarians to consider gender dynamics and the specific impact of every action on women and girls and commit to gender equality.
Equality Bahamas said both major political parties in The Bahamas “have contributed to dismal representation” of women, particularly as they each only ratified seven women — 18 percent of their candidates — for the 2021 general election.
Equality Bahamas called on the government to implement a 50 percent quota, requiring gender balance on all political party candidate slates.
“The 2021 election has clearly shown the correlation between representation on party slates and in Parliament, particularly when there is a landslide. Both parties had seven women candidates, and we now have seven women in Parliament. We can set a higher standard and have better outcomes,” Ms Wallace said.
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