Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has called on more women to get involved in elective politics.
She issued the challenge recently while speaking at the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries’ (BCSI) membership meeting and panel discussion, at United Nations House.
The event, which was held to mark International Women’s Day, took place under the theme: Throw Like A Girl – Women Propelling Through Business.
During her presentation, the Minister noted that although some strides were being made towards an increase of females in Parliament; there were still a number of women who “run from politics” today.
As a result, she encouraged the women gathered to give greater consideration to the male-dominated profession, if they wished to see a shift towards gender quality in the Chambers of Parliament.
“Of the 30 persons elected in the Lower House, there are five women; and of 21 in the Senate, there are five women also… The President of the Senate is a woman and the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House is also a woman, so we are making strides,” the Senator observed.
Noting that Barbadian society was built “on the backs” of several women, the Minister said: “I’m proud to be a Barbadian woman today because I believe that I’ve had, while growing up in Barbados, opportunities to be able to fulfill my dreams…
“From the time I was about five I wanted to become a physician and having access to education and to the same facilities that all the boys in class had, I was able to achieve my goals,” she shared.
Conversely, Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed out that several women around the world were denied this privilege, and she implored Barbadian women and men not to take their opportunities for granted.
“I’ve rubbed shoulders with women from across the globe and I know that that is not the case in many countries in the world. There are still countries where women cannot expect to have education…or must give up their education to assume the care giving roles,” she stated.
The five-member panel also featured founder of Girls Night Out Barbados, Jalisia Boxill; founder of Bajan Fusion, Celia Collymore; Services Specialist at the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Allyson Francis; and CEO of Pinelands Creative Workshop, Rodney Grant.