Patricia Minnis, wife of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, said yesterday the Office of The Spouse is “functioning well and filling a void” for women and girls throughout the country.
Speaking at the Women’s Empowerment Summit and Expo, she said the office was “making baby steps” and changing the minds of people who initially criticized its establishment.
“I think most people didn’t know of it, you know…when something is new [and] there were those questions. But I’ve gotten feedback where people are really engaged in what is happening,” Minnis said.
“I think there were concerns that I was getting paid. They couldn’t pay me [because of] the hours that I put in and plus my fulfillment is serving young women.”
In March, Ann Marie Davis, the wife of Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Brave Davis, said she was not convinced of the need for the establishment of an Office of the Spouse.
“I have been very involved in charities, and the extent of the involvement is very far-reaching, and I haven’t yet seen the need to have an office to carry out those functions,” Davis said when asked by The Guardian.
“Having said that, I don’t know…how the role of that office that Mrs. Minnis is referring to, how that role would be defined [and] whether it will be a crossover to social services, because some of what Mrs. Minnis said is what I know social services to be involved with.”
But Minnis said her office was “promoting leadership and entrepreneurship” for women in the country.
“At Girl Con in Freeport last month, I took two young ladies that I mentor from Government High School [with me, and] their reactions, their feeling of empowerment and what it did for them was more than any money can pay you,” she said.
She added: “I love working with young people, they keep you young and that is again payment that you get and so I think the office functioning as an advocacy.
“There can never be too much hands-on-deck and doing the work of the empowerment of women and girls and I believe it is functioning well and filling a void.”
Minnis said her office plans to launch a national health initiative, focused on non-communicable diseases, in the new year.