NOW: Former leader was an ally
Following is a statement from the National Organisation of Women on the passing of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
“On behalf of the National Organisation of Women (NOW) of Barbados we join in offering condolences to the family of the late Owen S. Arthur. Mr Arthur was an ally in the cause of equity for Barbadian women and girls. In his maiden election campaign, Arthur ran three female candidates, Billie Miller, H. Elizabeth Thompson and Mia Mottley.
“When the women won their seats, all three were elevated to Cabinet service, the first time in history that Barbados had that many women at the highest level of political office. This was also the debut of Cynthia Forde, who Arthur made a senator and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture.
Arthur’s policies such as the fully insured 100 per cent mortgage through the Barbados Mortgage Finance enabled many women to join the home owning class in Barbados. Arthur also facilitated the expansion of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, where women outnumbered men 3 to 1 on the student roll.
“Arthur was a safe mentor to political aspiring females. His public record was without accusation. He also checked other world leaders in the Barbadian space to ensure that Barbadian female employees were safe on their job and in the execution of their duties.
“Mr Arthur was fiercely proud of his two daughters. He maintained relationships with his favourite shop owners and food vendors, many of whom were women, during his tenure in the highest offices of Barbados.
Because he was human, Owen Arthur was not perfect but this organis ation still feels humbled by the service, partnership and support we received from this son of our soil. His rest is well deserved and we trust that his memory is adequately marked. The ancestors await you, Sir. Thank you. (PR)