NASSAU, The Bahamas –Her first exposure to the plight of women happened in the 1950s and this sparked her unrelenting fight for the empowerment of women in The Bahamas, regionally, and globally.
For her significant contributions to the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Rt. Hon. Dame Janet Bostwick, 83, was honoured with the prestigious 13th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women.
The honour was bestowed on her at the Official Opening Ceremony of the 44th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, at Atlantis, Paradise Island, February 15, 2023.
The Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of The Bahamas and Chair of CARICOM, presented a framed Citation and award to her before a packed Grand Ballroom.
Dame Janet, an attorney and champion for women’s causes, became the second Bahamian woman to receive such an honour. Marion Bethel, attorney, poet, essayist, filmmaker, human and gender rights activist, and writer was honoured in 2014.
In response to receiving The 13th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women, Dame Janet underscored the importance of women fighting for justice, equality and other areas such as the impact of climate change.
She said that the region is “so proud” that a woman, the Hon. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, is leading the charge for women against climate change.
“We do not have the luxury ladies of focusing our attention primarily on achieving gender equity or equality. With the real threat of climate change, we must fight now for our very lives, and the continued existence of our nations. Women, who are always the most vulnerable, should lead this fight.”
Dame Janet Gwennett Bostwick, DBE, née Musgrove, was born 30 October 1939 in Nassau, The Bahamas to Nick and Lois Musgrove.
An attorney at law, she is revered as a pioneer among women in The Bahamas and is well known, admired and respected for the many years she championed the cause for the empowerment and improvement of the status of women at home and in the region.
Dame Janet has the distinction of having achieved many “firsts” in her career. Most notably: first woman in The Bahamas to hold the post of Secretary General of The Bahamas Public Services Union; to prosecute in the courts; to be elected as President of The Bahamas Bar Association and Chairman of the Bar Council; first woman to serve as a Member of Parliament following her election to the House of Assembly in 1982; the first woman appointed Attorney General in The Bahamas and the region in November 1994; the first woman appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1995. She was also the first woman to act in the post of Prime Minister.
Dame Janet’s activism on women’s issues spans from the mid-1960s, when she was an executive member of The Bahamas Public Services Union, through her entire political career. Over the many years, she represented The Bahamas at the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), chaired the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), as well as headed The Bahamas delegation at the Fourth World Women’s Conference in Beijing, China in September 1995.
Dame Janet shared that she was exposed to the plight of women while working at the Supreme Court in the 1950s, but was deeply sensitized to the extremities of violence against women when she attended an international conference in the early 1990s.
“It was then that I knew that I had to be a part of that group, which sought change and global recognition of men and women, as equal partners in every respect,“ Dame Janet said.
She continued: “I heard the cries of those women in 1957. And if you listen, you hear the cries of mothers now. They cry for food security. They need food for their children. They cry for cessation of violence, they cry for better education and for better and affordable health services. And yes, they cry for equal rights with their land.
“It is a battle that is still too far from victory. And it is a battle, which in my humble opinion is not receiving the acknowledgment attention and action that is required to ensure that the injustice is eliminated. It is a battle that has been relegated to a position of lesser importance, and it’s been choked by the clamor of others.”
She added: “This is tragic. Every one of us who ever existed came into existence through woman. We cannot afford to give precedent to the rights of others if we do not so successfully address and eliminate the inequities that exist throughout our diaspora, and indeed throughout the world, in respect of the rights of us, women. I submit that for this, we need no redefinition of woman. There is much to be done.”
Dame Janet thanked all who were instrumental in nominating her for the award.
Since the introduction of the Triennial Award in 1983 several highly esteemed and outstanding women of the Caribbean have been bestowed the honour of the award for their dedication and determination in broadening the parameters of existence for women, and improving their economic, social, political, cultural and legal status.
Other Caribbean women awarded are: In 1984, Ms. Nesta Patrick of Trinidad and Tobago; 1987, the late, Her Excellency, Dame Nita Barrow of Barbados; 1990, Dr. Peggy Antrobus, national of Grenada and Citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; 1993, Ms. Magda Pollard of Guyana; 1996, Dr. Lucille Mair of Jamaica; 1999, Professor Joycelin Massiah, national of Guyana and Citizen of Barbados; 2002, Professor Rhoda Reddock of Trinidad and Tobago; in 2005 Justice Desiree Bernard of Guyana; 2008, Professor Barbara Evelyn Bailey of Jamaica; 2011, Professor V. Eudine Barriteau of Barbados; 2014, Ms. Marion Bethel of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; 2017, Ms. Shirley Pryce of Jamaica.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of The Bahamas, and Chair of CARICOM, presented Dame Janet Bostwick with the prestigious 13th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women during the Official Opening Ceremony of the 44th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, at Atlantis, Paradise Island, on February 15, 2023.
(BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)
The Bahamas Achieves Unprecedented Tourism Success with Record-Breaking Eight Million Visitors
#NASSAU, Bahamas (December 4, 2023) – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is proud to announce a historic achievement in tourism, with the country welcoming a record-breaking eight million annual visitors this year. This remarkable success stands as a testament to the unified efforts, strategic planning, and visionary initiatives championed not only by the Ministry of Tourism but strengthened by the invaluable support of key stakeholders like the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion, The Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board and The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association.
The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism shared his optimism, stating, “The Bahamas has long been a sought-after destination, and reaching eight million visitors is a milestone that reflects the collective dedication of our tourism professionals nationwide. Our success lies not just in our islands’ allure but in the strategic endeavours we have embraced. As we celebrate this achievement, we are equally focused on shaping a future that ensures sustained year-over-year growth and enhances the visitor experience.”
Sales and marketing strategies have been instrumental in positioning The Bahamas as a premier travel destination. The Ministry of Tourism reached global audiences through targeted campaigns utilizing digital marketing, social media, and strategic partnerships. These efforts, combined with creative and impactful advertising initiatives, showcased the diverse attractions and unique experiences that continue to make The Bahamas a must-visit destination.
The government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and welcoming travel environment has fostered positive relations with industry partners. Innovative cruise strategies, accompanied by increased airlift, have significantly contributed to the surge in visitor numbers. Also collaborations with major cruise lines, the development of new cruise ports, and the introduction of new shore excursions have enhanced the overall travel experience.
Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism, remarked, “This historic milestone in visitor arrivals is a clear indicator of the unique charm and richness of our 16-island destination. Our unwavering dedication to offering diverse, authentic experiences underlines our strategy for Brand Bahamas. We ensure every traveler’s journey is not just a visit, but an unforgettable, enriching experience that beckons a return to our beautiful shores.”
Crucially, the support and collaboration of tourism stakeholders, promotion boards and hotel partners have played a vital role in this success. DPM Cooper underscored the importance of this collaboration, stating, “Our partners have been instrumental in achieving this milestone. Their continued collaboration is key to our sustained success, and together, we will shape the future of Bahamian tourism and the Bahamian economy.”
As The Bahamas celebrates this unprecedented achievement, the Ministry of Tourism looks ahead, developing future strategies to ensure sustained growth in visitor arrivals and a continued positive trajectory for the tourism industry.
Release: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Stunning Space Opened for Turks & Caicos in Nassau
#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The golden ribbon is cut and the Nassau-based Turks & Caicos diaspora office is officially unveiled. The opening ceremony, held at the new office, was attended by high-level delegates including Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
“I’m very proud and very privileged to be able to stand here and speak to you and I would especially like to thank someone who has become a friend in the person of the honorable Prime Minister of The Bahamas,” he said.
Bahamian support was critical in the venture, which sprung up as an answer to the TCIs desperate employment and immigration crisis. With hundreds of vacancies open across the public and private sector, and no one to fill them, the country needed more people but immigration rates were already far too high, posing a risk of disenfranchisement of islanders.
In order to fix both issues the government introduced a migration scheme allowing third-generation islanders with bloodline connections to claim citizenship. They quickly partnered with The Bahamas, one of the closest and the largest parts of its diaspora
Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas was on hand while the Premier spoke and also brought remarks. The strong bond between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas was emphasized by Davis, as he spoke
“The Turks and Caicos’s islands were part of the Bahamas, they even had a representative in our parliament. We were one nation,” he said.
Bahamian parliament has been supportive of the diaspora plan, which could see TCI-Bahamians migrating away from the Bahamas and into the Turks and Caicos, since its inception in early 2023.
The colors of the Turks and Caicos islands were on proud display in the newly office. Attendees were allowed to tour the building during the Grand Opening on November 28th.
Bright white and modern meeting areas with turquoise accents and TCI logos will be the backdrop for immigration negotiations
Also present at the event, a strong proponent of the grafting in third generation plan, Immigration Minister Arlington Musgrove, and Deputy Governor Anya Williams. The officials have now concretized a journey they started together in February when the idea of a Diaspora office was announced.
The office is the first of its kind established by the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is located on the 2nd Floor of The Bahamas Financial Center, Shirley and Charlotte Streets.
Turks & Caicos Islands Government Opens Diaspora Office in Nassau
#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Government earlier this week proudly inaugurated the Turks and Caicos Diaspora Office in Nassau, New Providence in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, Premier Hon. Charles Washington Misick and the Deputy Governor of TCI, Her Excellency Anya Williams.
Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams expressed her sincere appreciation to The Bahamas government for the outstanding collaboration between the two countries, particularly in national security. She asserted, “The opening of this office here in The Bahamas will undoubtedly strengthen our ties with The Bahamas and create opportunities for even greater partnerships that will benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Premier Misick emphasized that The Bahamas and TCI have always had a strong bond, and the benefits of this relationship have been felt for many years. He declared, “The establishment of a Diaspora of the Turks and Caicos Islands Office in The Bahamas is a crucial initiative that will restore links with the diaspora and open up a productive line of communication to gauge interest in employment opportunities, investment and contributing to the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.” He further added: “Whether in national security operations, education (many of our students have studied here), health care, or even cultural enthusiasts who partake in junkanoo, we must continue to learn and lean on each other.
Minister of Immigration and Border Force Hon. Arlington Musgrove, who initially led the establishment of the office, stated: “This evening signifies a significant and timely accomplishment in the long history of our two nations. Progressive relationship building is the term I use to describe the establishment of this office today. Beyond a diaspora office, we hope to foster closer ties through business, investment, education, and training to benefit our two countries. I am proud of my government taking this bold, progressive step and proud of the vision of our Premier, who has worked so assiduously to make this evening a reality.”
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas brought remarks on the evening and joined the other dignitaries for the ribbon cutting.
The office is a part of the government’s broader diaspora policy, which aims to aid in the creation of programs to capture, connect and harness contributions and connection from the TCI citizens residing outside of the TCI, increase the representation of the number of persons in the population with connection and roots in the TCI and lastly, to provide opportunity and incentive for eligible members of the diaspora to invest and have access to investment and philanthropic opportunities in the TCI.
The office is now open at The Bahamas Financial Centre. Two Liaison Officers have been appointed; Canon Curtis Robinson is based in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and A. Vernay Mills is based in Nassau, New Providence.
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