Today’s Editorial December 03: Time to honour women

The Cayman Islands will mark a great milestone in its history next year in regard to women.

Women finally got the nod to vote and were allowed to run in General Elections in 1959.

The constitutional privison came at a pivotal time in the Islands’ development. Many of the country’s men were away at sea and were not available to fill many key posts.

Just two short years later the Cayman Islands would get its first female appointed in 1961 as a Member of the Legislation Assembly – Miss Annie Huldah Bodden. She served for three years and successfully ran for office in George Town, becoming an elected Member in 1964. She was returned in each election until 1984.

That constitutional provision made for the 1959 General Elections and Miss Annie’s foray into the man’s world of politics have given many women in the Cayman Islands a chance to be heard at the polls and to become our elected leaders.

One of our National Heroes is Mrs. Sybil Ione McLaughlin who was instrumental in Cayman’s parliamentary development and served as the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in February 1991. She was also the first clerk of the Legislative Assembly in 1959.

Women have been instrumental in the development of all of the Cayman Islands – politically, socially, culturally and economically – to the point that many now hold important positions both within Government and the private sector.

So it is right for Leader of Opposition Mr. McKeeva Bush to put forth a Member’s Motion calling for four notable Cayman Islands women to be named national heroes.

They can be honoured at our next Heroes on 26 January.

Just as our lawmakers were correct to recognise the many contributions women were making to the Cayman Islands while their seafaring husbands, fathers, uncles and brothers were away, it is right that we continue to recognise the women that have helped shape this country.

We lend our support to Mr. Bush’s suggestion that Mary Evelyn Wood, Joyce Hylton, Beulah McLaughlin and Almira Tomlinson be recognised. It is unfortunate that they are all now deceased; that we didn’t honour them while they were still alive to see our appreciation.

Women have been instrumental in the development of all of the Cayman Islands – politically, socially, culturally and economically – to the point that many now hold important positions both within Government and the private sector.

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