Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, Tuesday challenged women representing 25 female non-governmental organizations to continue to follow the lead of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Addressing a Women in Leadership Ceremony held at Government House, Mount Fitzwilliam that preceded the launch of two new, female non-governmental organizations in The Bahamas — Women United Organization and the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL) — Bahamas, Minister Campbell told the attendees that the work, advocacy, sacrifice, toil, and blood, sweat and tears of the ladies involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas was so significant that their feat will live on forever.
Presided over by Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith, O.N., the launch was held under the theme: “Accelerating the Advancement of Women in Politics,” as part of the activities commemorating the 57th Anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas. “I note that those women, as they did all that we continue to celebrate they did, had no personal aspiration or ambition for themselves. They did all they did for the love of country and in support and partnership with the men. It was about country and contribution,” Minister Campbell said.
“I am satisfied that is this spirit and resolve that resulted in the success that they had and the success that we celebrate this evening. It is the spirit of that movement that will cause, allow and/or permit our women to set aside self and to acknowledge and accept that the concerns that face women, transcend all barriers.” Minister Campbell told his audience that: “the power to make change lies in the hands of women from all sectors of Bahamian society.” “Inequality and inequity affect all women across all sectors of society. Once you are identified as a woman in this country, you are affected by all of the inequalities. The power to make those changes rests in the hands of our women.
“As I congratulate CIWIL, as I congratulate Women United on being launched, as I congratulate Zonta on their 16 Days of Activism For the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, as I congratulate each and every one of you for your own, separate and individual achievement — I would be remiss if I did not call on you, and challenge you, to see the bigger picture and see that it is those collective achievements that will cause people to be talking about you as positively as they are talking about those pioneering women 57 years from now. “What will they be saying about you, 57 years from now,” Minister Campbell asked.
The Social Services Minister applauded the male members of the audience for their support. “It is important that our men know that as we advocate for equity and equality for our women and girls, it is not in competition with our men; that our advocacy is not at the peril of the men, but it is in the spirit of partnership that we want to ensure that our women are able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as they did 57 years ago and enabled us — men — to do what it was we were called to do, and to enable The Bahamas to move forward to the point to which we are now at,” Minister Campbell added.