Near the end of November 2012, approximately six months after the PLP’s return to office, a joint session of parliament was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bahamian women attaining the right to vote.
It was a good show. The value of equality was heralded. There were the usual grand speeches. The PLP’s female parliamentarians beamed with pride, though, curiously, a number of male parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle seemed bored.
On cue, Prime Minister Perry Christie strutted, boasted, and emoted. Given his performance in the House of Assembly on the occasion, one would be forgiven for surmising that he is a great champion of gender equality. He promised constitutional equality for women before the 40th anniversary of independence in 2013.
A joint resolution was passed promising an end to constitutional discrimination against women, “so as to fully and irrevocably engage and utilise the indomitable spirit of Bahamian womanhood in nation-building”.
Here we are three years later. There has now been a fifth and counting postponement of a referendum on gender equality. Many have concluded that such a referendum is unlikely during the PLP’s current term.