In a statement issued on Tuesday, 8th March, Political Leader of PAM, Mr. Lindsay Grant, indicated that his party, especially while in government, established an outstanding record of achievements in the development and empowerment of the federation’s women.
“On this the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day we must be reminded of the sterling contribution women have made to our history. Unfortunately, the record is scant in reference to the struggles of our foremothers during enslavement, because their contributions were under-recognized. We must pay tribute to those generations of anonymous women who fought to further the cause of freedom,” said People’s Action Movement Leader, Lindsay Grant.
Grant said that, thankfully we are quickly making up for this neglect and are giving women the honour that is long overdue. In our post colonial history our women have been at the forefront of every aspect of building our federation,” Grant continued.
He said that the People’s action Movement has a proud and distinguished record with regards to the empowerment of women and supporting their aspirations. PAM was the first party in the Federation to put a woman on the ballot as a candidate in 1971, the stellar Mrs. Mary Charles – George. PAM was the first party to have a woman elected to parliament in 1984 in Lawyer Constance Viola Mitchum, said the PAM Leader.
It is Mr. Grant’s view that under the leadership of Ms. Mitchum, the legislative agenda of the government actively supported the rights and aspirations of women and to this day the only pieces of legislation passed specifically for the benefit and empowerment of women were tabled by the government of the People’s Action Movement. PAM secured the rights of mothers to retain their position in the civil service even if they were unmarried; PAM also introduced a 13 weeks maternity benefit with pay for women. PAM also introduced organized Early Childhood Education for very young children both improving the development of children and increasing the access of women to gainful employment.
The People’s Action Movement Leader said, “It is clear that there is still much to do to ensure that our women can reach their fullest potential. Sexual and domestic violence and sexual harassment are still serious scourges in our society. Teenage motherhood and the subsequent segregation into low wage jobs still steal a vibrant future from too many girls. Our activism and struggle must continue because women’s rights are human rights and for this reason we salute the United Nations Fund for Women for its leadership in this area.”
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. We at the People’s Action Movement salute the valuable of women in our Federation and around the world.