Cayman’s women’s movement featured in documentary

The Cayman Islands will mark 60 years of women’s suffrage with a documentary, “Her Story is Our History: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Cayman Islands.”

The 22-minute feature will premiere on Thursday, April 6, at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.

The film tells the story of 358 women from across Grand Cayman who pushed for the right of women to vote and hold office.

In addition to the film, the event will feature performance pieces and framed copies of the original 1948 and 1957 suffrage petitions showing every woman’s signature.

Gender Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, who commissioned the work, said she hoped the film would educate the public and inspire civic involvement.

“I know I would certainly not be in this position, as a minister in the government, if had it not been for those brave women who came before me, who fought for the right to vote and equal participation in the political process, in recognition of their intrinsic human right to do so,” Ms. Rivers said in a press release.

Images and documents were provided by the National Archives for the documentary, produced by Whirlybird Productions. National Archives Director J. Kimlon Lawrence said the historic documents provide a snapshot of the women’s movement and contribute to an understanding of Cayman’s democratic progress.

“These courageous women had the foresight to ride the wave of constitutional change in the British West Indies, which has paved the way for many today,” Ms. Lawrence said.

The documentary features the movement’s surviving women, who describe the struggle in their own words, said Tammy Ebanks, acting deputy chief officer and senior policy officer for gender affairs.

“The willingness of those Caymanian women to individually and collectively take a chance and push the envelope further has made the road a little bit easier for those of us who came behind them, and for that we all should be grateful,” Ms. Ebanks said in the release.

The premiere is free and open to the public, but seats must be reserved by Tuesday, April 4, via www.genderequality.gov.ky.

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