Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Congratulations to the new DNA leader

Dear Editor,

 I write to congratulate the newly elected Leader of the Democratic National Alliance, Arinthia Komolafe.

The DNA party held its convention Feb 22-23, where history was made by delegates electing the first female to a major political party. I do not consider this great accomplishment as breaking the glass ceiling, that feat will occur at the next general election, on or before May 7, 2022. However, this is still a great day for The Bahamas, as we are catching up to the rest of the Caribbean in regard to women in politics.

Komolafe has etched her name next to women like Dame Janet Bostwick (first elected to House of Parliament), Dame Doris Johnson (first appointed as Cabinet minister), Dame Ivy Dumont (first female governor general), Cynthia “Mother” Pratt (first female to hold position as deputy PM) and Loretta Butler-Turner (first female leader of opposition). These women are celebrated for their achievements, not only as parliamentarians, but as women in business, as mothers and leaders within their communities.

Notwithstanding the role these women participated in toward the growth and development of this country, I’ve noticed the subtle head of misogyny from an unexpected section of the population. Usually its surreptitious, but most recently, many have become very vocal in their objection to a woman in leadership. To my surprise and unfortunately, this idea is being spread by mostly women. One would think they have forgotten the struggles of Doris Johnson, Mabel Walker, Althea Mortimer, Eugenia Lockhart, Mary Ingraham, Georgiana Symonette and Albertha Isaacs.

While I admit, I am by far a supporter of feminism or ideas being pushed by the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) convention, I think it is a ridiculous assertion to suggest a percentage of any party or Parliament should be reserved for one gender or the other. I consider that antidemocratic and, in my view, unconstitutional. It takes away free choice. I am, however, in favor of the best and brightest people running our country – people with integrity, who also possess good judgment.

Gender should be inconsequential in politics. I repeat, gender should be inconsequential in politics. Only the best people, with the best Ideas and temperament, should be elected to Parliament. And it is time the men and women in this country understand that.

 Any Bahamian vying for political office should be judged by the content of his or her character and not based on their race, color, religion and definitely not their sex. They also should not expect this same type of governance for the next 50 years.

– Kishon Turner 

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