by Linda Straker
- Franka Bernardine is political leader of National Democratic Congress
- Clarice Modeste is Deputy Chairperson of New National Party
- In the public service, 10 of the 15 permanent secretaries are women
Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, campaigning for the 13 March 2018 General Elections, implied that he will not be contesting another, recently gave the assurance that a woman will become the head of government during his lifetime.
Speaking about the contribution women have made towards the development of the country, Dr Mitchell in delivering the feature address at the signing for the Spotlight Initiative — a project receiving grant funding from the European Union and the United Nations to combat violence against women and girls — said that a woman is already serving in the Governor-General post and soon one will be in the role as prime minister.
“In my view, it will not take us too long in the future. We already have a Governor-General in place the highest official in the land. It won’t take long and hopefully, it has to be in my time to have a woman, prime minister in this country,” he said, pointing out that gender equality must become the norm.
“The evidence of this is at the top of our society, the composition of our parliament and our cabinet is indicative of such awareness. We are therefore proud of this achievement because we don’t believe to talk one thing and not demonstrate it at the highest possible level,” he said.
Prime Minister Mitchell headed the government from 1995 to mid-2008 when he was voted out of office after the electorate voted for the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) who ruled from 2008 to February 2013. Dr Mitchell was voted back into office in February 2013 General Election and was returned to power following the 2018 General Election. On both occasions, his ruling New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats in the House of Representatives.
His time in office has seen the rise of women being elected to the Houses of Parliament. At present, 7 of the 15 parliamentarians in the Lower House or House of Representative are women, while 2 of the 13 parliamentarians in the Upper House or Senate are women. In the public service, 10 of the 15 permanent secretaries are women.
Politically, at present in Grenada, a woman, Franka Bernardine, is the political leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, while Clarice Modeste is the Deputy Chairperson of the ruling New National Party.