Rivers calls for action to get more women in LA

| 21/10/2015 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs

(CNS): The government needs to find a way to increase female participation in politics, the minister with responsibility for gender affairs, Tara Rivers, has said. Although women make up 53% of the current electorate, with Rivers and the Speaker, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, holding just two of the 18 seats, women make up only 11% of the Legislative Assembly membership. Rivers pointed to barriers which prevent women from making it on to the ballots sheet in the first place but there are many more if they do get elected.

During the historic debate on Monday in the Legislative Assembly on the government’s electoral reform motion, paving the way for one man, one vote in single member constituencies, Rivers raised the issue of women in politics. Claiming to stand as an independent candidate in the 2013 poll, although she was part of the Coalition for Cayman, Rivers pointed to party constitutions as the place to start.

“It is time for us as a country to address the other issues pertinent to our democracy, such as the increased participation of women in the political process, be it through adopting formal political party structures or amending party constitution to promote such or other targeted means to increase female participation,” she said.

Rivers also criticized the first past the post system in single member constituencies as being one of the worst systems for facilitating the election of women compared to proportional representation, which was more female friendly.

The gender affairs minister queried Cayman’s record of encouraging women into politics, noting that after 185 years of democracy, the best the parliament could do for female representation was just over 10%.

With no previous national discussion on the issue, she said that the time had come for electoral reform and it was time to engage in that national discussion to find ways to get more women into the LA.

During her debate on the motion on adopting the Electoral Boundary Commission’s report, although she said she supported the motion and gave her full backing to OMOV, Rivers appeared reluctant to embrace SMCs. She said that there was no clear mandate in her West Bay constituency for electoral reform or retaining the status quo, as the referendum and more recent public meetings pointed to very polarized positions on the topic in the district. But despite being a member of Cabinet and bound by collective responsibility, she said her decision to support the motion demonstrated leadership.

Rivers also raised a similar complaint as that raised by her constituency colleague, McKeeva Bush, when she told parliament that she had written to the boundary commission asking them to return to West Bay before finalising the report to explain the boundaries that they had settled on for the district but they had refused, stating that they had taken the views of the district in the public consultation and considered the various submission made directly to them as well.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about Caroline Solomon from BT

  2. Toyger says:

    The more I think about this ‘statement’ the more irritated I become. This woman is a do nothing sell out. What a farce.

  3. Toyger says:

    Be they man or woman I could not care less, what we need is people of integrity and action.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Because that’s what’s important!

    How we should govern, and evaluate results and success…. We should take into account, prioritize and give more favorability toward the female gender as a means of evaluating good governance, NOT the old tired way of doing things like looking at “qualifications”.

  5. Ball And Chain says:

    What we need is more women back in the kitchen.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Women who are good enough can achieve anything. Those not good enough want affirmative action and quotas.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tara. You didn’t have the courage to come out and defend the attack on a senior female civil servant by a ranting and raving MLA, your colleague, yet you are now saying we need more women in the LA. How about starting with the obvious before moving onto the grandiose.

    All talk no substance.

    • sascottgcm says:

      She is calling for action and we trying to get her out….ironic

      • Anonymous says:

        No, we are saying if you are trying to promote and defend women’s rights be consistent. Don’t just do things you feel will garner you headlines, votes and popularity. She is after all the Minister of Gender Affairs is she not?

        • Anonymous says:

          She certainly had nothing to say then. Oh that so on education! The minister should be called, Tara Rivers the Minister for low morale, lack of communication and minister for invisability.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ironic indeed! Cayman-style politics!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the view of a lot of Caymanians is that the senior female civil servant got what she deserved as she had been winding up the Minister (possibly by doing her job but when did that ever matter in disputes like that one).

  8. Anonymous says:

    Right now I think Its more important we get competent and educated people into the LA rather than putting up with some of the baffoons that currently reside there. Please no more token ministers what we need is quality int he LA, regardless of what sex they are.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Juliana and Tara are poor representations of Caymanian women neither should be in the LA or re-elect in 2017

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tara has done more work so far than any 10 male MLAs i can recall.
    Of course, some will still hold it agianst her for not being a raging feminist – but she still has much more to contribute!
    Even so, they have to do something about removing that lifetime Pension for one term, and double dipping.
    Thats Not fair on we the people who pay them!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lower paid civil servants are barely able to survive off of their pensions, that they have spent a lifetime working for. The MLAs serve two terms and they are entitled to an pension, just not fair.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh Tara, let us start by getting competent people in the LA first. I don’t care about the gender percentages. I care about competency. That would be a fantastic start. Once you have that all sorted, then you can focus on getting competent women in the LA

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fake feminist. She’s doing more harm to Caymanian women than the most patriarchal dinosaurs in the LA.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hard working officials discussing matters affecting the public. What a joke.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Really this is more useless work product here from her. The Salary is attractive, given the hours one must work. If a woman is inclinde to run, there are no real trials for her to overcome. Tara got in Office, yes because in part, her education, but age was popular. She did not, as I recall at her first attempt, conduct herself in a refined lawyerly way, but as an in your face, yelling, West Bayer, giving attitude in her public debates and was appealing to the common person , to gain popularity. That is the Political game. Any woman has a shot, and she is just blowing more of the same empty lines without much thought, even with good intentions, that she does a lot. Do not tell fire, as it can get out of hand. Look at our neighbors to the North. BLM and every Caucasian police officer is out to harm African Americans.

    • Anonymous says:

      What on earth has the behavior of the American police got to do with this. In any event the reality is that they get harmed as they interact far more with the police.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Dont Worry Tara more women will be in government unfortunately you wont be one of them. What a sad day it was when you got elected wasted vote.

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