Butler-Turner: “I don’t have the answers”

“The Bahamas does not have the luxury of deciding whether leadership is male or female”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While she has no intentions of running in the next General Election, former Opposition Leader Loretta Butler-Turner said she hopes more viable candidates including more women, step forward to run.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News, Butler-Turner said she has no desire or appetite to be in frontline politics anymore.

“I believe that when you want to be in politics or leadership, I believe that you have got to have some answers to the many, many questions that the electorate have,” she said.

“For me, I take that very genuinely. And personally, I don’t know that I have the answers to all of what ails us as a country.

“I pray that there are individuals who are willing to make the sacrifice, go forward and really come up with viable options — not just election talk, I mean genuine strategies [for] moving our country from where we are now.”

Butler-Turner said she hopes that Bahamians putting themselves forward, do so with a vision of hope.

She noted that while it would be ideal for more women to be in leadership, “the country does not have the luxury of deciding whether or not leadership is male or female”.

Asked whether she believes there will be more women willing to enter frontline politics, Butler-Turner said, “There is a great deal of interest by new aspirants into the political field and I do see and hear that there are more women coming forward.

“I do believe that what we need now are very focused individuals who are totally dedicated to the ideals of making a better Bahamas, whether they are males or females.

“The country needs all of the best people at this time and if they happen to be female, they should be the ones to step up; if they happen to be male, then once again, [step up].”

The former Long Island MP noted, however, that she does believe that now is the time for women who have the qualities and the abilities to run for office.

“The fact that six men reposed their confidence in me, I think there will be other people along the length and breadth of The Bahamas that will say it doesn’t matter the gender.”

A women’s movement has committed itself to increasing the political representation of women in the House of Assembly.

Women United (WU) was founded in October 2018 by Prodesta Moore, who was later joined by a group of Bahamian women activists in early 2019.

WU is managed by a Steering Committee of 15 professional women who believe the time is now for women to take up the mantle from the suffragettes and stand together for the achievement of women’s social, intellectual, political and economic empowerment.

The Steering Committee of WU consists of: Prodesta Moore, Brenda Harris Pinder, Caron Shepherd, Dr Novia Carter, Sharmie Farrington Austin, Kelley Bostwick-Toote, S Ali McIntosh, Laurell Burrows, Simmone Bowe, Dr Madeline Sawyer, Santina McKinney, Rowena Sutherland-Poitier, LeShan Ferguson, Erin Brown and Dr Monique Thompson.