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Three Queens Reign in World’s Newest Republic: Barbados

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By Dana Malcolm & Deandrea Hamilton

 

#Barbados, January 28, 2022 – Have the women of Barbados set off an unstoppable trend? Could 2022 be the Year of the Woman?  Many are nodding in absolute agreement, as increasingly pioneering women with impeccable leadership abilities and stately stances are being bestowed the confidence of their people on a national, even global level and are taking on hierarchal roles in democratic governance.

On January 19th, 2022 the Barbabos Labour Party did what observers thought it would do.  Led by the globally renowned Mia Amor Mottley, the BLP was expected to win the snap election.  However, the nearly 260,000 voters in Barbados did more that resoundingly return Mottley to prime-ministership of the republic, the voters gave her a second sweep in a general election.

All 30 seats were won; a unanimous message was sent by the electorate and the responsibility was humbly accepted, so said the second-term prime minister in the early hours of January 20 when she addressed throngs of supporters.

But we dare not digress as this feat achieved mere days ago in Barbados, goes beyond the shores of the country situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a global milestone which bears feature and focus.

Barbados is led by a new genre of democratically installed Queens.  It is an all-female cast in upper governance of the country, which on November 30th 2021 severed the final colonial ties with Great Britain to become a Republic and a “truly” independent nation forging ahead without the Queen as Head of State.

The President of the Republic of Barbados is Dame Sandra Mason.  At 73 years old, Mason went from being the last Governor General to becoming the first president.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados is Hon Mia Amor Mottley.  At 56 years old, Mottley comes from a family with a rich political history.  The men in her family who led Barbados in a bygone era, obviously instilled within this United Nations Champion of the Earth Award winner the kind of grit which draws world leaders, award winning journalists and ceiling shattering opportunities to her court.

And the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, is another Queen’s Counsel attorney-at-law who emerged as faithful, frugal and fair when the country needed her most.  Hon Santia Bradshaw will also lead Government business in the honourable House of Assembly, as she brilliantly staffs this previously unfilled position of deputy prime minister.

Has this been done before and is this feat capable of evoking a shift from male-dominated democracies, to women included governance which is essential to demonstrating diversity.

The gravity of the occasion forces the intrigued to take note of how much space women truly occupy in politics.

“As of 1 September 2021, there are 26 women serving as Heads of State and/or Government in 24 countries. At the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years,” said information by the United Nations Women, in its Facts and Figures Women’s’ Leadership and Political Participation report.

Unquestionably, the statistics for women holding seats in parliament are improving but still abysmal. In its September 2021 general elections, The Bahamas similarly charted some records as among the Caribbean region countries to hold general elections within this era when the profile of gender equality has been raised.

Compared to the 3.905 billion women alive who make up 49.58 per cent of the world’s population; “Only four countries have 50 per cent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61 per cent, Cuba with 53 per cent, Bolivia with 53 per cent, and the United Arab Emirates with 50 per cent.” says the UN.

The women of Barbados are by no means alone in their accomplishment, countries like Trinidad and Tobago, where its president is a woman:  Paula-Mae Weekes; New Zealand, Finland, Greece, Ethiopia, Togo, Tanzania, Gabon, Singapore, Taiwan and just elected today, January 28,2022 as president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro.

From Hon Akierra Missick, who served as the Turks and Caicos Islands youngest, female Deputy Premier there was high commendation, The Hon Prime Minister’s, second resounding victory in the general elections has firm placed her in the World’s history books, a place she already rested comfortably in, but showed that despite the naysayers women in politics and leadership are well suited and prepared to push their shoulders to the wheel and get the work done for their people.”

The selection of the two women – Dame Mason and Hon Bradshaw – to stand with her in leadership of Barbados, to those looking on is another demonstration of Prime Minister Mottley’s admirable boldness.  Undoubtedly, she knew this unique appointment would not only help her to deliver on her campaign pledges to the people of Barbados, but it would upset and uproot old notions which need to go the route of colonialism, that is to be firmly placed in the Republic of Barbados’ past.

 

Caribbean News

TCI Premier and Delegation visit NCI in Jamaica

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#Manchester, Jamaica, 14 August 2022 – The Honourable Charles Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and his delegation have arrived at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Central Jamaica.The Premier will give the address at the second commencement ceremony and will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Commerce Degree.  The Premier completed high school at West Indies College which is now NCU more than 50 years ago.  Premier Misick and his delegation are on a four day visit to Jamaica.The Office of the Premier and Public Policy will bring commencement live on its Facebook page at 2PM EST.The Premier’s delegation includes: First Lady, Mrs. Delthia Russell-Misick; Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services; Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Ms. Althea Been, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Immigration and Border Services; Mr. Miquel Swann, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the Premier and Public Policy; Mr. Edwin Taylor, Commissioner of Labour; and Mr. Bentley Johnson Aide De Camp.

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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