NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A record number of seven women candidates won House of Assembly seats in the 2021 General Election on Thursday, with incumbent Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin yielding nearly 75 percent in her constituency.
The official tally of votes remained inconclusive up to press time yesterday, with results expected to be completed by last night.
However, up to yesterday afternoon, Hanna-Martin had the highest number of votes out of all women vying for office and the fourth-highest number of votes out of all candidates thus far.
Despite a low voter turnout, she earned over 2,000 votes for the Englerston constituency.
The history-making roster of projected women winners who will serve as members of Parliament in the Davis administration include: Hanna-Martin, Englerston; Leslia Miller-Brice, Seabreeze; Lisa Rahming, Marathon; Jobeth Coleby-Davis, Elizabeth; Pia Glover-Rolle, Golden Gates; Patricia Deveaux, Bamboo Town; and Ginger Moxey, Pineridge.
They are all members of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
The Free National Movement (FNM) also nominated seven women in the 2021 General Election: Felicia Knowles: Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador; Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, Exumas and Ragged Island; Maxine Seymour, Seabreeze; Miriam Reckley Emmanuel, MICAL; Nicole Martin, Nassau Village; Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, West Grand Bahama and Bimini; and Vandea Stuart, Central and South Abaco.
Of the 39 elected members of Parliament in the outgoing Minnis administration, only five were women: Hanna-Martin; Parker-Edgecombe; Lanisha Rolle, Seabreeze; Emmanuel; and Shonel Ferguson, Fox Hill.
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.
In August, when PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis — then leader of the opposition — was asked if he was satisfied with the number of female candidates ratified, he said: “We are satisfied, but we will continually press to have women involved in the governance of this country.”
He added: “There is another mechanism that I will be able to engage to ensure that women are well represented at the parliamentary level — that is through the Senate, and you will see that at the appropriate time.”
Hanna-Martin remains the longest-serving female parliamentarian in the history of The Bahamas, serving a consecutive four terms as Englerston MP, since 2002. Her latest win on Thursday 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 female governor general during that time.
In 2002, Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, also a member of PLP, became the first female deputy prime minister of The Bahamas.
Written by Eyewitness News Intern Gabrielle Sterling