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Women in Politics in Barbados
Women acquired the right to vote and to become members of either House of Parliament in Barbados in 1944.  In 1948, Mrs. Muriel Hanschell was appointed to the Legislative Council, the first woman member of either House.  In the first general election under adult suffrage in December 1951, Edna Ermyntrude Bourne (later Dame Edna) of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), was the first woman to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly.  She represented St. Andrew until 1961.  Twenty years later (1971-1976), Gertrude Eastmond of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was elected to parliament as a member of the Democratic Labour Party. 

In 1976, Billie Miller (now Dame Billie) was the third female elected to Parliament and a year later was appointed the first female Minister of Government in the new BLP administration.  Dame Billie also has the distinction of being the first woman Deputy Prime Minister and first woman Chairman of the BLP. Previously, Odessa Gittens (1966-1971) was appointed Parliamentary Secretary of Education and Gertrude Eastmond (1971-1976) was Parliamentary Secretary of Health and Welfare.

Since Dame Billie, seven other women have been elected to the House of Assembly – Mazie Barker Welch (DLP, 1986-1991), Mia Mottley (BLP, 1994-present), Elizabeth Thompson (BLP, 1994-2008), Cynthia Forde (BLP, 2001-present), Esther Byer-Suckoo (DLP, 2008-2013), Mara Thompson (DLP, 2011-present), and Santia Bradshaw (BLP, 2013-present).

Mia Mottley also has the distinction of being the country's first woman Attorney General, and first woman Leader of the Opposition. She is the country's second woman Deputy Prime Minister.

TRAILBLAZERS
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Muriel HANSCHELL
First woman appointed to the Legislative Council
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Edna Ermyntrude BOURNE
First woman elected to House of Assembly
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Hazeline Odessa GITTENS
First woman Parliamentary Secretary
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Billie Antoinette MILLER
First woman Cabinet Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
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Kerryann F. IFILL
First woman President of the Senate of Barbados
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Mia Amor MOTTLEY
First woman Attorney General, and Leader of the Opposition
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WOMEN IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF BARBADOS
Edna Ermyntrude Bourne was the first women to be elected to the House of Assembly of Barbados. She served as the Member of Parliament for St. Andrew from 1951 to 1961. Since Dane Edna, 10 have been elected to the House of Assembly.
Photo Name Constituency Party Period
Learn more Edna Ermyntrude BOURNE St. Andrew DLP 1951 - 1961
Learn more Gertude EASTMOND St. Michael North East DLP 1971 - 1976
Learn more Billie A. MILLER City of Bridgetown BLP 1976 - 1986 & 1991 - 2008
Learn more Syvil LEACOCK St. Peter DLP 1984
Learn more Maizie BARKER-WELCH St. Joseph DLP 1986 - 1991
Learn more Mia A. MOTTLEY St. Michael North East BLP

1994 - present

Current Leader of the Opposition

Learn more H. Elizabeth THOMPSON St. James South BLP 1994 - 2008
Learn more Cynthia FORDE St. Thomas BLP 2001 - present
Learn more Esther BYER-SUCKOO St. George South DLP 2008 - 2013
Learn more Mara THOMPSON St. John DLP 2011 - present
Learn more Santia J.O. BRADSHAW St. Michael South East BLP 2013 - present
Learn more Maria AGARD Christ Church West IND 2013 - present
WOMEN IN THE SENATE OF BARBADOS
Several women have been appointed to the Senate of Barbados. Current President of the Senate, Her Honour Kerryann F. Ifill is the first woman to serve in that role.
Photo Name Party Period
Learn more Her Honour Kerryann F. IFILL DLP

2008 - present

Started term as Deputy President of the Senate and on 19 March 2012 was sworn in as the first female President of the Senate and also the first visually impaired person to hold such a post.

Learn more The Hon. Maxine P.O. McCLEAN DLP

2008 - present

Leader of the Senate; 2008 - present

Learn more Irene SANDIFORD-GARNER DLP 2008 - present
Learn more Verla DEPEIZA DLP 2012 - present
Learn more The Hon.Esther BYER-SUCKOO DLP 2013 - present
Learn more Carol Lady HAYNES IND 2015 - present
Learn more Santia J.O. BRADSHAW BLP 2010 - 2013
Learn more Patricia INNISS DLP 2008 - 2013
Learn more Dr. Frances Louise CHANDLER IND 2008 - 2013
Learn more Velma Eudora NEWTON, SCM IND 2008 - 2013
Learn more Billie A. MILLER BLP 2007
Learn more Lynette EASTMOND BLP 2003 - 2008
Learn more Patricia PARRIS BLP 2003 - 2008
Learn more Sandra C. HUSBANDS BLP 2003 - 2008
Learn more Patricia J. (THORINGTON) ALLEYNE BLP 1999 - ?
Learn more Peggy E. RICKINSON IND 1999 - 2003
Learn more Cyrilene THOMAS-MASCOLL DLP 1999 - 2003
Learn more Jessica C. ODLE BLP 1994 - 2003
Learn more Cynthia Y. FORDE BLP 1994 - 2001
Learn more Olga Patricia SYMMONDS BLP 1994 - 2008
Learn more Ada STRAUGHN IND 1991 - 1994
Learn more Yvonne Y. WALKES DLP 1991 - 1994
Learn more Maizie BARKER-WELCH DLP 1985 - 1986
Learn more V. Carmeta FRASER DLP  
Learn more Erma V. ROCK - 1966 - 1971
Learn more Cyralene GALE DLP 1971-1976
Learn more Hazeline Odessa GITTENS DLP 1961 - 1971
 
WOMEN IN THE CABINET OF BARBADOS
H. Odessa Gittens was the firs woman to be appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary in Barbados, serving as Parliamentary Sectary of Education from 1966 to 1971 in the Barrow Administration. Billie Antoinette Miller was the first woman to be appointed a Minister of Government. During her tenure as Minister under successive Barbados Labour Party Administrations, her various portfolios included Health, Education, Foreign Affairs, Tourism, and Trade. Dame Billie served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1994 to 2003. She was succeeded in the role by Mia Amor Mottley, who served as Deputy Prime Minister from 2003 to 2008. Ms. Mottley is the current Leader of the Opposition in Barbados, the first woman to hold that post.
Photo Name Party Post
Learn more H. Odessa GITTENS DLP 1966 - 1971 Parliamentary Secretary of Education
Learn more Gertrude EASTMOND DLP 1971 - 1976 Parliamentary Secretary of Health and Welfare
Learn more Dame Billie Antoinette MILLER BLP

1976 - 1981: Minister of Health and Insurance
1981 - 1986: Minister of Education
1985 - 1986: Minister of Culture
1994 - 2003: Deputy Prime Minister
1994 - 2008: Minister of Foreign Affairs
1994 - 1995: Minister of Foreign Trade and International Business
1995 - 1999: Minister of Tourism and International Transport
1999 - 2008: Minister of Foreign Trade
2003 - 2008: Senior Minister

Learn more Maizie BARKER-WELCH DLP

1985 - 1986: Parliamentary Secretary of Education and Culture
1986 - 1990: Parliamentary Secretary of Labour and Community Development
1990 - 1994: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister
1994: Parliamentary Secretary of Civil Service, Labour, Industrial Relations, Public Works and Community Development and Sports in the Office of the Prime Minister

Learn more Mia A. MOTTLEY BLP

1994 - 2001: Minister of Education, Culture and Youth
2001 - 2006: Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs
2001 - 2008: Leader of the House
2003 - 2008: Deputy Prime Minister
2006 - 2008: Minister of Economic Affairs and Development

Learn more H. Elizabeth THOMPSON BLP

1994 - 1999: Minister of Health and the Environment
2001: Minister of the Environment
2001 - 2003: Minister of Physical Development
2003 - 2006: Minister of Housing and Lands
2006 - 2008: Minister of Energy

Learn more Cynthia Y. FORDE BLP

1994 - 1995: Parliamentary Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture
1995 - 1999: Parliamentary Secretary of Finance and Economic Affairs
1999 - 2001: Parliamentary Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture
2001 - 2008: Minister of State for Education, Youth Affairs and Culture;

Learn more Lynette EASTMOND BLP

2003: Minister of Labour and Social Security
2003 - 2008: Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development

Learn more Esther BYER-SUCKOO DLP

2008: Minister of Environment
2008 - 2010: Minister of Family, Youth Affairs, Sports
2010 - 2013: Minister of Labour and Social Security
2013 - present: Minister of Labour, Social Security, and Human Resource Development

Learn more Maxine McCLEAN DLP

2008: Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Leader of Government Business in the Senate
2008 - present: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

Learn more Irene SANDIFORD-GARNER DLP

2008: Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Community, Development and Culture
2008 - 2010: Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office
2010 - 2013: Parliamentary Secretary of Health
2013 - Present: Minister of State Tourism and International Transport

Key
  Bajan Free Party   NDP = National Democratic Party   United Progressive Party
  Barbados Integrity Movement   People's Democratic Congress   WPB = Workers Party of Barbados
  Barbados Labour Party   PEP = People's Empowerment Party   Independent Candidate
  Democratic Labour Party   PPA = People's Political Alliance   *incumbent
  Kingdom Government of Barbados   Solutions Barbados   ** Political Leader
Sources
Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission
Bajan Free Party (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Bajan-Free-Party-BFP-HonAlex-MitchellEl-1767331239973521/
Barbados Integrity Movement (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/barbdaosintegritymovement/?ref=py_c
Barbados Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.blp.org.bb/
Coalition of United Party. (2018) Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/alexmitchell.el/
Democratic Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from http://dlpbarbados.org/site/
Solutions Barbados. (2018). Retrieved from https://solutionsbarbados.com/
United Progressive Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://uppbarbados.org/
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