As part of the celebration of local government month, women in the local government and family island administration fields were honored at a luncheon this week.

One of the speakers at the event was Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM, Her Excellency, the Hon. Leslia Brice. She told attendees, “a lot of times when we advocate for equity and equality it translates as if women want to do it all. What it truly means is that we want to do it also. What we need, men and women to equally meet at the decision making table at every level of leadership ensuring balanced representation but also balanced perspective. We must move our country forward together.”

Honouree, Family Island Administrator and 2nd Officer in Charge of Local Government, Therese Bootle-Laing also addressed the luncheon. Speaking of the work carried out by recipients of the resilience award after the passage of Hurricane Dorian she said, “the women that you see here today walked through rubbles, lived and served in partially collapsed buildings, lacked running water and modern comforts such as electricity and cooking stoves. For months the scorching sun patched their skin and the untreated water caused many skin issues. For those that served sacrificially we will tell you the propulsion was from within. The acceptance of not only a national mandate but there was a greater divine mandate in realizing the work was being done for neighbours. There is no greater call than to help those in need.”

The pioneering award was given to former cabinet minister responsible for local government Justice C.V. Hope Strachan. Strachan was also the first female minister to have local government as part of their portfolio.