PLP pledges 30-40 percent of candidates will be women.
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has pledged that women will represent at least 30 percent of its slate of candidates to run in the next general election.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Onlinethis week, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin confirmed that the PLP has committed to increasing the participation of women.
“We expect that this election you will see many more women than you’ve ever seen before,” she said.
“Where more women are involved, we will have more responsive policy, especially social policy, so there is a necessity not just to mirror or correlate to the population, but also to ensure that the voice of women is better secured because you would have greater female involvement.”
There have been widespread calls from domestic and international bodies for increased participation of women in politics, but the representation in the House of Assembly over successive governments has reflected a severely disproportionate number of men to women.
The PLP’s commitment comes a year after the United Nations, which has a minimum quota of 30 percent, recommended that the country introduce a system of quotas aimed at reaching the baseline.
The report also suggested temporary special measures to be taken to support women candidates for election position.
Hanna-Martin pointed out the ratio female voters to those in the House is severely unequal, but more women should support one another, particularly those in leadership roles.
“I was elected because women do in fact support women, however there is manipulation in the process of the political realm as it relates to women, and this is why women must stick together,” she said.
“We need greater advocacy and stronger voices. We know that women are more affected by poverty and we know that children are more affected by poverty. It’s women who can bring a focus to that.”
The next general election is expected to see two political parties with women leading — Arinthia Komolafe, the leader of Democratic National Alliance, and Ali McIntosh, the servant leader of the Bahamas Constitution Party.
Of the 39 elected members of Parliament, only five members are women.
There is only one member of member of the Cabinet. There are 19 members.
In the last census in 2010, females were 51.6 percent of the population.