By Ava Turnquest
MINISTER of Social Services Lanisha Rolle yesterday gave her full endorsement of Patricia Minnis’ proposal for the establishment of an Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister.
Mrs Rolle explained there were great demands placed on the wives of nation leaders, and as such, they ought to have an office and accommodations from which to execute their mandate.
She said the establishment of such a post was a global initiative, with a regional advocacy taken up by the wives of CARICOM leaders.
“Many times, she (Mrs Minnis) would represent concerns and issues that we can’t bring to the forefront politically and she would sort of be that balance for us. As a parliamentarian, when I won’t be able to reach certain individuals, she can be able to reach a wider spectrum.
“It just works along and in tandem with the work of women in the country and not only women, I think her office would include also issues that involve children, and so I always say more hands make work light and the more the merrier, it would be a help.”
At a recent luncheon hosted for the spouses of senior government officials, Mrs Minnis revealed she had already submitted a proposal for an Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister to Cabinet.
However, there has been no confirmation on the status of the proposal, or which minister made the presentation to Cabinet.
West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe also gave her full support for such an office, noting while there will always be economic challenges, there should be no limit on aspirations.
Mrs Parker-Edgecombe, parliamentary secretary for information and communication in the Office of the Prime Minister, acknowledged the severe blowback from the public over announcements for a pay hike for parliamentarians in the next fiscal budget, but stressed the importance of having a vision.
“Anything about empowering women and families and children I always try to support because I believe that the decisions that we make as mothers, and females in this country contribute significantly to the development of our nation so definitely I don’t see a problem with it,” the West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP told The Tribune.
“There are many challenges that we will continue to face that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to stop from believing and wanting better for our country. At the end of the day there will always be a situation that you’re going to run into that doesn’t mean we should (not) talk about our vision and our plans whether or not it is agreed upon or not, that is determined by Cabinet but at the end of the day we should always push forward with vision.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Rolle also stressed the office ought to be highly respected.
“There is a great demand on them,” she said, “there is lots of work for prime ministers’ wives to do.
“Certainly, they should have an office and they should have accommodations, that is something I fully support and I believe all of the female parliamentarians fully support because we know as wives how much equally we share in the work of spouses.”
Mrs Rolle continued: “We want to see our prime minister’s wife do well to support her husband and the work that he is doing, so it is in order, it is fitting and it is needed.”