Lawrence: Society has paid for overlooking women

| 14/03/2011

(CNS): The speaker of the Legislative Assembly has said that the country’s legislators are not prioritising women and family issues, and as a result the country has suffered. In her remarks at the opening of the 4th annual Youth Parliament on Commonwealth Day (Monday 14 March), Mary Lawrence said that women have been missing in the country’s political advancements and “society is paying a high price for that omission”. The speaker said that women and children’s issues were the things that underpinned a stable society but that they were not priorities for the Legislature, which was made up of men. She noted that only nine women had served in the assembly in the 52 years since the country’s first constitution.

“The political arena is still uncharted territory for women, who consistently continue to vote for men, and then wonder why family and women and children issues — the underpinning of a stable society, and thus a stable economy — are not priority items on the political agenda,” the speaker said.

She pointed to the Children’s Law, which was first passed in 1994 but never enacted. The law returned to the House in 2006 as new legislation but was still not passed, and again in 2009 but has still not been enacted.

“In those 17 years dozens of young people have fallen by the wayside, for which the provisions of that legislation might have proven to be a safety net, and today with all our talk of human rights and freedoms — buzz words in our society — we house our young offenders in the same facility as the crime kings of our society,” Lawrence stated.

Although the speaker said that this didn’t mean that there had not been good, “even brilliant men” in politics in that time or that they didn’t care but she said these were not matters high on their priority list.

While women have made some progress in many areas, she said women should not be afraid to enter the political arena. She noted the theme of Commonwealth Day this year was “Women, Agents ofChange” and that the political arena was a place where women could make lasting change in society.

The speaker noted the irony that in this year’s Commonwealth Day Annual Youth Parliament, while the young women were only slightly less in number than the young men, the leadership roles on both sides of the House were still in the hands of the men.

She said that she hoped the exercise would inspire both genders to learn more of the political and government processes with a view to greater participation as they arrived at the age of voting.
She said the role of a legislator was often negated and derided by society inan age of multi-media — a continual source of what she said was negative headlines.

“I remind you today that there is no higher or more responsible role in our country than that of a legislator, for in the hands of those who fill those positions lie the destiny of a country and its people,” the speaker told the youngsters gathered for the mock parliamentary debate.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This from the woman who made a right fool of herself in the LA before Christmas. She doesn’t appreciate freedom of speech. She should have been kicked out on her ear. She is a true embarassment to women.

  2. Florence Goring-Nozza says:

    Render to Cesar that which is Cesars and unto God that which is God’s. Matthew 22, verse 21.  I’m going to compliment Mrs Mary Lawrence for her factual and truthful remarks.

    While many men may vote on various  issues in favor of women’s health, domestic violence prevention, education, and child care, etc, etc. women legislators usually put these very crucial issues on the agenda in the first place!

    Women govern with a collaborative approach and they know how to bring people together. It is a new and effective style of leadership that leads to results. An intelligent well rounded woman with a healthy moralistic base has the eyes of an eagle, and nothing will slide by her!.

    A woman true to herself, and true to her country has a leadership style that is a distinct departure from the typical partisan warfare that has been characterizing leadership including efforts by past and current male leaders in the legislature who continue  to be ruled by Capitalists and stonewall any forward movement towards women’s rights, rights for  minorities, and  jobs creation for the people.

    The key is "Change"  that hinges on political power.  History shows that women’s leadership in their party and  on key committees has always brought about meaningful change.


    • JusLookinAttenshun says:

      Truer words have never been spoken … but – what about the dreaded and all encompassing "bad hair day"??

      At such times all of humanity is but a gust of wind away from total WMD annihilation!

      • Twyla Vargas says:

        Juslookingattenshun, there are only a few words that come to my mind after reading your comments; and they are ; “Have’nt we all, at sometime in our lives experienced a “Bad hair day”

        • JusLookinAttenshun says:

          Well, I haven’t – but then again, I’m bald!

          However, I doubt that you ever had one as well – (I actually love your locks!).

          I find you very attractive – and that strong personality of yours only adds to the appeal. If only we were of the same generation … I would have made my move a long time ago!


          P.S. No disrespect intended to your spouse / partner if he / she exists.

          • Twyla Vargas says:

            Bald head ye making me blush,

            • anonymous says:

              Has it occurred to you that maybe Mrs. Mary Lawrence realizes she has made some enemies and is now trying to redeem herself?

              • Twyla Vargas says:

                Yes 08:50 I read your comments, and my sincere response is, that we all have, some where, some time in our lives made an enemy, even if it was only for the way we dressed.
                But then if we truly want to think the best, let us remember “Salvation is free for all who want it” If Ms Mary feels that way and want to redeem herself, then so be it and if you are a true Caymanian, and as we always say from a “Christian praying Island” I am going to expect you to say ” Yes!! “Redeem by the blood of the Lamb”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I say the cause of all this is christianity.

    God is pictured as a man, we speak of He.

    Jesus same thing.

    Adam was the first human. Eve was just a toy made out of a bone.

    Eve brought sin to earth.

    SO simply said, if you believe all this crap, you are creating a culture in which women are not equal to men.

  4. The Beaver says:

    In Japan, where women have historically played a "secondary" role to men, their society is extremely orderly.  In fact, there appears to be none of the  looting, vandalism, hooliganism, and/or any sort of Ivan and post-Ivan nonsense that occurred in the CaymanIslands, despite the fact that the Japanese disaster is exponentially far worse.  Your simple explanation to explain your society’s failure only serves to underscore the fact that the leadership of this country leaves a lot to desire…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t the Premier pay a WOMAN $48,000 to be our first Ambassador to Florida?

  6. B.T Voice says:

    Am I reading this right? Mary is saying, women should try to rise up in politics,so they can put family values first on the table? Isnt that limiting women potential? Are they not good enough to do more than that, other than dealing with the house-whole problems while the men go to work?

    Or is she calling all the men in the L.A dogs who don’t care about the home value?  GOTCHA!


    Different tune, same ole hot air.

    What about the one in there? why isnt she doing anything other than wasting our hard earn money paying her salary XXXX around?

    This entire political arena is a sham…

    You go Mary… remember though, you dont want Mac to accuse you of running for office too early. LMAO . We all now you jumped on the band wagon when he promised you that seat your in, you dont want to lose it too quickly.He’ll muzzle you soon enough.. I havent heard anything from the defender Elio in a while either.. Damn Mac is good.

    Hate it or love it… the truth is the truth.. Who says tigers can’t change their spots.. Mary did it, well kinda.. well maybe the colours. lol

  7. ALL SEEING says:

    She is right.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yawn. She needs to focus on her grammar when she speaks to youngsters instead of spouting views reflecting her frustration that she could not get elected in Bodden Town for 40 years (not because she was a woman!)
    “… the hands of those who fill those positions lie (“lies,” Ms Mary) the destiny etc etc”

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Any anonymous person can write what ever they want about Mrs Mary Lawrence, but to us Mrs Mary Lawrence is a Lady. Sometimes in life it is not everything that we apply for that we get, simply because, as the old folks would say “IT DID’NT BELONG TE YE” So as far as I am concerned, the position where Mrs Mary is in, was her calling. She is very educated and well versed in politics. Now, refering to her grammar as you spoke of, tell me which true Caymanian speaks perfect English? When big shots from other Caribbean come here and cut their language up, no one has a thing to say, and we clap. Mrs Mary is a true Caymanian and she does not have to be a walking dictionary for us to understand her..
      It is so sad that we will still remain anonymous and say bad things about each other.
      Can’t we even try sometimes to see the good in others.

      • Marcella says:

        21:19 I do agree with what you said, and that is the reason why foreign people disrespect us because we are too negative against our own people. Why should some of you Caymanians critize Ms Mary. Shame on you all. Just being the tipical.

        • Night Flyer says:

          Marcella 03/14/11-22.07

          Not all foreigners disrespect, dont know who you come into contact with,but I find if you treat people with respect, then you in turn will be respected.

  9. Flipper says:

    Hoeeey, phoooey I say.  Among many factors that will continue to lead the Cayman Islands towards 3rd world status:

    1.  corruption, nepotism, apathy and incompetence (no particular order)

    2.  an astounding lack of accountability at any level

    3.  a semi-literate political leadership

    4.  men fathering 10 children with 10 different baby mamas

    5.  women having 3 different baby daddies

    6.  the well-known entitlement attitude

    7.  the gangsta/wanksta culture and mentality

    • David Letterbush says:

      What’s the most confusing day in Cayman?………….

      Fathers Day.

      What’s the second?……….

      Every second Tuesday of the month

      • Anonymous says:

        Explain "every second Tuesday of the month" part of your joke please – what does it refer to?

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, that would have been funnier if you had said "every Tuesday"… when Cabinet meets!