‘A SEAT AT THE TABLE’: Five women appointed to Davis-led Cabinet

‘A SEAT AT THE TABLE’: Five women appointed to Davis-led Cabinet
Governor General CA Smith (center) with Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and the newly appointed members of his Cabinet at the Baha Mar Convention Center on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. (BIS)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Five women will serve in Cabinet positions for the first time in Bahamian history.

Eleven additional government ministers in the new Davis-led administration were sworn in and received their instruments of appointment yesterday, during a ceremony at Baha Mar Convention Centre.

The new appointments are in addition to the nine ministers sworn in on Monday, making it a 22-minister Cabinet.

Among those women appointed were Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin as minister of education, technology, and vocational training; Elizabeth MP Jobeth Coleby-Davis as Minister of Transport and Housing; Pineridge MP Ginger Moxey as Minister of Grand Bahama; Golden Gates MP Pia Glover-Rolle as Minister of State for Public Service; and Marathon MP Lisa Rahming as Minister of State for Social Services and Urban Development.

Following the ceremony, those women touted the historic significance of the appointments and reflected on what the increase in representation means for women in politics.

Glover-Rolle said she believes the record appointment is the beginning of a greater platform for women in the country.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Cabinet. I’m proud to be able to take a seat at the table as a woman,” she told reporters yesterday.

“Obviously, I will speak to women’s issues. I will speak to gender equality. But at the end of the day, I am a qualified and capable and Cabinet minister who will speak to the needs of the greater community, not just the women but the country at large”.

Moxey said she hopes more women are encouraged to get involved and expressed her excitement for the progressive movement of the country.

“This is what the PLP is all about,” she said.

“We are creating opportunities for women. We hope more women step forward. Today is a new day and I know that women will play a much greater role moving forward.”

Rahming said she also feels very “elated” to be a part of the historic moment.

“I know that even as women we are going to bring something totally different,” she said.

“Women have more compassion, women are more understanding, and so I know we are going to bring a lot to the table”.

A record number of seven women candidates won House of Assembly seats in the 2021 General Election with incumbent Hanna-Martin yielding nearly 75 percent of the votes in her constituency.

There were five women serving in the previous House of Assembly, while men made up the remaining 34 parliamentarians.

There was only one sitting woman minister in the Cabinet — initially, former Minister of Social Services and Urban Development and former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle, and after her resignation, former Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Parker-Edgecombe.

Hanna-Martin remains the longest-serving woman parliamentarian in the history of The Bahamas, serving a consecutive four terms as Englerston MP, since 2002. Her latest win will be her fifth term serving in the role.

Allyson Maynard-Gibson, a member of the PLP, served in Parliament for approximately 10 years.

Dame Ivy Dumont, a representative of the FNM, served in Parliament for approximately 13 years, becoming the first woman governor general during that time.

In 2002, Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, also a member of PLP, became the first woman deputy prime minister of The Bahamas.

About Sloan Smith

ssmith@ewnews.com Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.