St. John’s, 6th December 2011 – The Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL) extends its warm congratulations to all ten (10) women who contested seats in the 2011 General Elections in St Lucia on 28th November, and to the St. Lucia Labour Party for successfully securing the balance of power.
The participation of women leaders in the 2011 General Elections was notably high in St. Lucia, as an unprecedented number stepped forward as contenders. At a time where other countries in the region recently witnessed a decline in the number of women elected, three out of the ten female contenders were successful in gaining their seats, and advancing their roles as leaders in the political sphere. Emma Hippolyte (St. Lucia Labour Party), Alvina Reynolds (St. Lucia Labour Party) and Gail Rigobert (United Workers Party) were elected to represent the people of St. Lucia in this election.
CIWIL is further pleased to see two women appointed Ministerial posts following their victories, as Hippolyte was sworn in as the Minister of Commerce, Business Development and Consumer Affairs, and Reynolds, the Minister of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations.
CIWIL Coordinator, Ms. Sheila Roseau, hails the efforts of all ten contenders as a success. ``When more women step forward as contenders for national elections, it transforms the landscape of politics and strengthens democracies. We are pleased by the tremendous showing of support by the electorate for women in leadership in St. Lucia, as reflected in the high percentage of votes cast for these women serving within political parties and as independent candidates.``
Roseau suggests that the success of the female contenders in St. Lucia be used as a catalyst to help future female leaders, while continuing to engage those who have already put themselves forward. ``The participation of and support for women in the 2011 St. Lucia General Elections should be recognised as a major accomplishment in the effort to advance equity in leadership, power and decision-making in this country. It further serves as a critical opportunity to ensure the provision of support for women aspiring to various forms of leadership continues locally, nationally and regionally.`` Seven of the female contenders in St. Lucia`s elections participated in CIWIL`s programmes and activities, including three women graduating from the CIWIL-IDGS Transformational Leadership Training Institute. Roseau appeals to the governments, opposition parties, non-government groups and donor agencies to continue to support women in leadership, until a critical mass of women at the highest levels of decision-making is achieved.
The Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership is a flagship networking Institute, producing high quality research, documentation, analysis, training and advocacy to advance women’s transformational leadership and increase the number of women in politics, leadership and decision-making at all levels in the Caribbean. The non-partisan organisation is supported by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Commonwealth Secretariat, though a wide range of project-based initiatives.
For more information on CIWIL contact:
Sheila Roseau, Coordinator
(268) 785 1323
St. John`s, Antigua (CIWIL Secretariat)