OFFICIAL Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis. (File photo)
By Ricardo Wells
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Progressive Liberal Party’s 2022 slate will be composed of 30 to 40 percent women candidates, according to party leader Philip “Brave” Davis.
The announcement came on Tuesday in response to questions posed by reporters over the lack of female representation in Bahamian politics.
Mr Davis, in conceding the enrollment of women in parliament has long been “dismal”, said more steps needed to be taken to improve the number of women elected to parliament.
“Our approach for the next election is to ensure that we have the appropriate number of women representing the Progressive Liberal Party as candidates,” he said.
When asked to further clarify his position, Mr Davis added: “Well, the appropriate amount can be 100 percent. But, it is those who make themselves available.”
In line with that, he said the party was looking at crafting a slate that features 30 to 40 percent women.
He continued: “We are not going to run them because they are female and do that gender a disfavour just to run someone because they are female. We want to have candidates who are good and those who are willing to serve and willing to do what is necessary to uplift the Bahamian people in a manner and in accordance to our philosophies.”
The Bahamas ranks 147 out of 193 countries on the International Parliamentary Union’s percentage list for women representation in the lower or single house.
Of the 39 members of parliament elected in 2017, only five members were female - Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle, West End and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel, Fox Hill MP Shonel Ferguson and Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.
These women represent 12.8 percent of persons elected to parliament.
The International Parliamentary Union’s percentage list also noted the seven women appointed to the Senate.
Their appointments equate to 43.8 percent.
These percentages were noted by Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell last October in his address to the United Nation’s committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Campbell in his address noted that while female representation in politics was low, women held the majority of senior leadership positions in nearly every other public sector.
Mr Campbell pointed out that in the public service, 78 percent of directors, 31 percent of Family Island administrators, nine percent of chief councillors and 65 percent of permanent secretaries and secretaries to the Cabinet are women.
“Women have excelled in many other fields, including the arts, sports and in traditionally male dominated fields,” Mr Campbell said.
The session marked the country’s sixth periodic state report, with its last appearance in July 2012.
The PLP is set to hold its next convention on July 25-26 at the Melia resort.