Date Progression of Women in the Bahamas for the last forty years Women all over the world have progressed in many fields including education and politics. They have been discriminated for a very long time. Policies have been adopted by many institutions and countries to ensure equality…
This paper focuses on how women in the Bahamas acquired the rights to vote, progression of women in leadership especially in politics, education, and legal affairs, as well as issues of poverty and level of income among women. One of the significant progressions of women in the Bahamas is the acquisition of the right to vote. Recently, the Bahamas celebrated the 51st centenary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In the past, women and other individuals who did not own property were no allowed to vote in the Bahamas. This movement took place in the 1950’s and it was aimed at fighting for the rights of women to vote like the male population (Hannas-Ewers 70). According to Komolafe, women all over the world were involved in a lot of struggles that saw the world start advocating for the rights of women and issues of equality. It is important to posit that the Bahamas was colonized by the United Kingdom with the earliest English settlers occupying their land as early as the seventeenth century. They gained their independence on July 10, 1973. During the colonial era, only men owning assets were allowed to vote. The reason behind this was the notion that men owning assets laid more significance on the having an efficient leadership (A4). To understand the progression of women in the Bahamas over the last forty years in terms equality in voting, it is important to elucidate the fact that the advancement of shared and collective situations as well as the initiative of impartiality started as early as the nineteenth century. This period saw a lot of women advancing in education and hence many women were involved in development and transformation agendas. This laid the foundation of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. During the periods of the struggle, both women and men were opposed and demanded a rectification of cultural, opinionated, and financial disparities. In 1960, steps and strategies were put into place that would allow women to vote. Consequently, women in the Bahamas participated in their initial voting exercise in 1962. The Bahamian constitution is heralded as a preeminent document but some parts form the basis for the discrimination against women. This is supported by West who posits that “The Women’s Suffrage Movement founded by Mary Ingraham, Georgina Symonette, and Eugenia Lockhart in the early to mid 1950’s aimed to attain the vote for women. With the help of Dr. Doris Johnson, the first Bahamian woman to obtain a doctorate, who mobilized the organization, women succeeded in obtaining the vote in 1961. They voted for the first time in 1962” (22). The United Nations implemented plans of actions that necessitated all nations to bring to an end disparity against women in 1979. This plan of action is known as the International Bill of Rights for Women. This was approved and endorsed by the Bahamas government in 1993. This move significantly ended prejudice and unfairness against women (West 22). However, according to the constitution, women are given equivalent liberties and privileges based on whether their children are citizens of the Bahamas or whether they are citizens in another country. Currently, women in the Bahamas have made a lot of progression in politics. West points out that “Dr. Doris Johnson was the first woman to be a cabinet minister (1968) and the first to ...
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