Minister of Gender Affairs Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has said the highest corridors of power throughout the region continue to reflect unacceptably low levels of female representation, despite recognition of their positive influence in building democracy and fostering social programmes.
“There is an absence of a critical mass of women in ministerial positions as the movers and shakers of Caribbean political economies,” the minister noted during a workshop on Thursday at the City View Hotel to promote women’s participation in politics for good governance.
Dr Quinn-Leandro noted that women’s participation ranges from a high of 13 percent in Jamaica, to a low of 0 in Belize. St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia are at 6.7 and 5.6 percent, respectively. Antigua & Barbuda elected its first female minister to the House of Representatives after the 2004 elections.
The minister added that the marginalization of women from political life has many contributing factors, including bias within political party structures which leads to a lack of transparency in the selection process; lack of support networks in mentoring women; a limited resource base; and a traditionalist male-centric culture of exclusion.
The workshop saw a wide cross section of women joined by a few men. They were addressed by a number of inspirational speakers who expressed the regional reality that while women have and continue to play crucial roles in the landscape of politics, extensive involvement on the ground has not translated into significant representation in the upper echelons of power.
Full Article: Gender Minister Laments Women’s Absence | CARIBARENA ANTIGUA.