So intertwined is the struggle for the right for women to vote agitated by the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Progressiver Liberal Party’s Women’s Branch that the details of the official formation of the latter is under heavy debate by those who remain alive to recount our history. Nonetheless, what can be accepted without dispute is that the Women’s Branch of the PLP, formed in the latter years of the 1950′s brought a greater degree of intensity and organization to the Movement through the personalities of bold and fearless PLP women, unafraid to brave the frontline and dismantle any remaining stumbling blocks to full equality.
One such personality is the late Eugenia Lockhart who is recorded by one writer as the Chairperson of the PLP Women’s Branch, perhaps among the first. Another such personality is that of Dame Doris Johnson, who through direct membership of the rank and file of the Progressive Liberal Party became the voice of the last leg of the Movement, and the historical pace-setter for every subsequent generation of women wishing to play a leading role in the advancement of the rights of Bahamians through politics, in particular the PLP.
According to many who are still alive, after the suffrage movement, the Women’s Branch became dormant until around 1965 following “Black Tuesday” and the onset of the trek to Majority Rule. It is sad that some one hundred women showed up to the meeting,and the leadership of the new Branch included, Dame Margeurite Pindling, Ms. Effie Walkes, Ms. Sylvia Johnson, Ms. Patsy Austin, Dame Albertha Isaacs, Lady Zoe Maynard, Ms. Peggy Francis, Ms. Malvernia Sands and others.
Since its inception, The Women’s Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party has been the backbone and driving energy of our Party’s approach to matters of social justce, as well as the singular organ of our institution which has been most responsible for social outreach, fundraising, and the organization and management of “on the ground” Party affairs.
Every successive Chairperson has brought a fresh and relevant mandate to the Branch, reflective and responsive to the needs and challenges of her time. This tradition continues today with our present Chairperson, Mrs. Manita Wisdom, wife of Mr. Neville Wisdom former Member of Parliament for Killarney anf former minister of Youth, Sports and Culture during the Christie administration from 2002-2007.
The Women’s Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is a body of women who seek to serve as an information exchange and resource for women within the party whilst providing support to the party’s leadership.
The branch provides a forum for women to communicate and share their views on the current social, economic and political climate within The Bahamas and to provide solutions to address the challenges within these areas.
The Women’s branch pursues its mission by engaging in sponsoring educational and informational programs, distributing newsletters, arranging social functions and fundraisers whilst promoting charitable and philanthropic activities.
The vision of the New Providence Women’s Branch shall be to see women making a positive impact on Bahamian society and the international community by:
Achieving success personally, socially, professionally, economically and politically;
providing ideas and suggestions to influence policy makers to enact or amend laws and regulations that enhance the standard of living, health and social status for women and children;
Building strategic alliances with other women’s associations and civic organisations to accomplish our mission;
Offering themselves to community, charitable and public service;
Providing the necessary tools and information to mentor and prepare current and future generations of women for their service toward social, economic and political conditions in The Bahamas and the world at large.
HOW TO JOIN
The fees to join the Women’s Branch is $5.00 upon completion of an application form. Dues are $60.00 per annum or $5.00 per month.
WHEN DO WE MEET
Meetings are held every third Sunday of the month at 4:00pm at the Sir Lynden Pindling Centre (PLP Headquarters), Farrington Road.