Some Bahamians welcome more women in politics

PLP: election candidates to comprise of 30-40 percent women.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Several Bahamians agreed yesterday that increased participation of women in politics is long overdue.

“The party has always been at the forefront of female leadership we had the first female deputy prime minister and acting prime minister and now I think our leader is trying to take that a step further.

“I think the time has passed,” a man, who did not wish to be named, told Eyewitness News Online.

Another women agreed.

She said, “I think that women have been on the forefront of leading our nation for generations.

“There is no reason why we can’t embrace the fact that they can also aspire to political leadership.”

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 Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) 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.

The PLP has pledged that women will represent at least 30 percent of its slate of candidates to run in the next general election.

In a separate interview yesterday, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell, the signal for change comes as no surprise.

“The position is that the PLP is looking for and will run credible candidates,” he said.

“These will include men and women who represent the range of demographics in The Bahamas.

Mitchell continued, “We are committed to gender balance and the thinking is that 30 percent female is a desirable level, but it may be more [than that].”