Political hopeful applauds Barbados for progress with women in politics, urges same for A&B

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Chaneil Jackson-Imhoff
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By Orville Williams

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One political hopeful in Antigua and Barbuda is commending the recently-elected Barbados government for its progress with the inclusion of women in politics, while urging the same for the twin island nation.

Following the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) victory in the country’s recent general election, the incoming session of Parliament will see women making up a quarter of its composition, a move that has been applauded by Chaneil Imhoff, Communications Officer with the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and the party’s Team Leader for St Peter.

“Seeing the results in Barbados, learning that a quarter of the [Parliament] will be made up of women, it feels like a win for women across the region, because a demographic that represents more than 50 percent of a population needs to be adequately represented at all levels.

“We can’t stay where we were years ago, we have to put systems in place to ensure that everyone feels seen, heard and represented in the highest offices in Antigua and Barbuda and the wider region as well,” Imhoff told Observer.

The appointment of Santia Bradshaw as Barbados’ Deputy Prime Minister also means the country’s top three leadership positions are now held by women, with Mia Mottley as Prime Minister and Dame Sandra Mason as President.

Additionally, PM Mottley has named 12 government senators, and women will comprise 50 percent of that complement.

Imhoff noted that, while there have been some strides made in Antigua and Barbuda where women in politics is concerned, there is still a long way to go.

The progress being made by Barbados, she said, should be viewed as a target to be achieved and even surpassed.

“In Antigua and Barbuda, we are way below what is expected for female leadership, not even just in politics, but in every single sphere.

“In politics specifically, I think we have two elected female members of Parliament in the Lower House, [while] in the Upper House we have much better representation. [However], I think there is much more work that we have to do,” Imhoff added.

With Bradshaw’s appointment, it is the first time in Barbados’ history that both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are women.

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