PAKESIA Parker-Edgecombe has been appointed as the new Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction in the Office of the Prime Minister. The announcement was made by the Cabinet Office last night.
She replaces Iram Lewis, who was removed from his previous post to become the new Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture after the shock resignation of Lanisha Rolle last week.
In the face of Mrs Rolle’s resignation and her male replacement, the Minnis administration faced criticism for not having a woman in Cabinet.
Last week, the Caribbean Women in Leadership Bahamas Chapter (CIWiL) expressed dismay about the development and said it is disappointed the government did not ensure women representation in Parliament was not further deteriorated.
Several senators also expressed disappointment.
When asked last week to address concerns about the lack of women representation in Cabinet following Mrs Rolle’s resignation and if a woman won’t be appointed to the Cabinet until after the next election, Dr Minnis said replied: “I don’t know when the bell may ring, but the bell may ring tomorrow and you may not have time for that but those are matters we will address.
“And we always feel that we want to ensure that there are equal men and women not only in Cabinet but even if you look at the Office of the Prime Minister; both my secretaries are females. “My Delivery Unit director is female. My communications director is female. The individual in charge of my Bahamas Investment Authority – female. Women are doing very well and I look forward to the day that we have our first Bahamian prime minister.”
Ms Parker-Edgecombe, the MP for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, previously served as parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information and communication.