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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says more women should be integrally involved in leadership.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller observed that, daily, millions of women around the world make fundamental decisions that affect the survival and wellbeing of their families, and communities.
  • She urged participants to consider how female leadership could reshape today’s contemporary societies and their associated development challenges.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says more women should be integrally involved in leadership, governance, and making decisions that impact their lives.

“We can no longer sit back and feel comfortable because a few women have been able to break through the barriers and create history,” she stated.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was delivering the main address at the official opening ceremony for the 27th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas (COPA), and the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas, on March 30, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.

She observed that, daily, millions of women around the world make fundamental decisions that affect the survival and wellbeing of their families, and communities.

Locally, she said, women are managing scarce resources, organising, supervising, mediating disputes, demonstrating problem solving skills, and in general, “playing the part of a stabilising force.”

Prime Minister Simpson Miller stated that, “these are skills that are necessary for political work”, adding that the political leadership must, therefore, explore more ways to ensure that the door to the corridors of political power are “thrown wide open to admit more women”.

She urged participants to consider how female leadership could reshape today’s contemporary societies and their associated development challenges.

She lauded the trail blazed by many women, often at great personal sacrifice.

“You (women) are expected to continue to carry out the functions of the home and the state or government… they help to create a world in which female political leadership would not continue to be an exception but a valid expectation,” Mrs. Simpson Miller asserted.

The Prime Minister pointed to her own over four decades in public life, stating that she has been an advocate for the inclusion of more women in parliamentary decision making.

“I have also made definitive steps within my administration, to ensure that the female voice is heard loudly and clearly and is represented within our parliament and across the political landscape … I see myself as opening a door and smashing that proverbial glass ceiling in order to let many of my younger sisters through,” the Prime Minister informed.

She said legislators must find ways to strike the right balance, being mindful that the society is affected by issues of gender inequities on both sides.