DNA Women Urge more Female Participation at the Cabinet Level

On behalf of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), the women of the DNA and our male counterparts extend congratulations to the Prime Minister, The Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis and the Free National Movement (FNM) on securing a resounding victory in the 2017 General Elections. We look forward to working with the current administration to restore good governance, economic and social prosperity to our nation.

The DNA also extend congratulations to the four (4) female candidates of the FNM, Mrs. Lanisha Rolle, Ms. Shonnel Ferguson, Mrs. Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe and Rev. Miriam Emmanuel who were successful in their bid to become Members of Parliament during the said elections. Additional congratulations are also extended to the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin of the opposition Progressive Liberal Party on retaining her seat for a fourth time in the great constituency of Englerston. This feat is indeed a celebration for women on all sides of the political divide as we in the DNA remain committed to the representation and advancement of women in public office and decision-making roles at all levels and in all sectors of our society.

We also align ourselves to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations which requires members states to move toward gender parity and including women at all levels in decision-making and public life, particularly with a commitment to ensure that at least 30% of our Parliament include women to ensure true democratic governance.

Considering this fact, the DNA women must highlight its discontent with the fact that Prime Minister Minnis saw fit to appoint only one female member to his cabinet. While the Prime Minister is free to appoint whom he chooses based on merit and competency among other things, we submit that such a move is regressive and has not been done since the Ingraham administration of 2007 when former Leader of the Opposition Mrs. Loretta Butler-Turner served as the sole female cabinet minister during that administration.

We also note that three (3) of the Prime Minister’s cabinet ministers were appointed through the Senate. Despite this fact, Prime Minister Minnis did not see fit to identify a competent and respectable female to serve along-side him, Mrs. Rolle and his fellow male counterparts reinforcing the narrative that ‘politics is a man’s game’.

The world is changing and advanced democracies the world over are noting the importance of women playing a vital role in frontline politics and decision-making. The recent elections of Canada, the UK and France are testament to this fact.
The DNA remains proud of the fact that we are the first political organization to run as many as 13 female candidates in a general election and promote the fact that our current shadow cabinet has more than 8 times the amount of women in the current Minnis Cabinet.

The DNA Women trust that the Hon. Prime Minister will see the error and disadvantage of such a decision and will make the necessary adjustments soon to ensure that more women are involved in the decision-making process at all levels of government including the Cabinet.

Further, the DNA Women urge both the Hon. Prime Minister and leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, Hon. Philip Davis to consider this fact when choosing further appointments to the Senate. No country can truly move toward political, economic, and social prosperity if the intention is to leave half of the population behind with no equal or proportionate representation.

Democratic National Alliance Women