Office of the Spouse strives to empower women and girls Mrs. Minnis tells IWF delegates

Mrs. Patricia Minnis addresses an International Women’s Forum (IWF) convention, September 19, 2019 at Atlantis, Paradise Island.  (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The need to fulfill her desire to empower women is the driving force behind the establishment of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister in The Bahamas, said Mrs. Patricia Minnis, wife of Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.

“It is my life’s goal to motivate and inspire young women and girls to lead, and by doing so impact their communities and the world,” she said.

Mrs. Minnis welcomed participants at IWF Intensive, a program of the International Women’s Forum (IWF).

The two-day forum, which focuses on advancing women’s leadership, opened Thursday, September 19th, 2019 at Atlantis, Paradise Island. It is hosted by IWF in conjunction with IWF Bahamas.

Mrs. Minnis related that lobbying for the support of the Office of the Spouse began when she became aware of CARICOM’s position to establish such an office in each member country.

“I knew then that it would be a daunting task, nevertheless I thought I was up to the challenge until the criticisms, cruel and personal attacks — confirming my biggest fear of putting myself forward.

“But my eagerness to fill my desire to empower women and have the driving force needed to undertake this civic duty was in my heart, so I was not letting go.

“I always knew it was never about me but instead my passion to see women strive and make significant contributions to the nation at large,” she stated.

The delegates learned that the establishment of the Office offers the network of women in policy, governance and civic engagement, a platform to strengthen the work of numerous organizations and programs operating in The Bahamas.

Mrs. Minnis announced plans for an initiative between the Office of the Spouse and leaders of women’s mentorship programs to launch a coalition on October 11, 2019 to raise funds for mentoring committees and training for community-based girls and women’s mentoring groups.

“I find it fulfilling to speak to young women and girls on the power of their potential and the impact it ultimately has on their lives and the lives of those around them,” she said.

IWF is an invitation-only membership organization comprising more than than 7,000 women from 33 nations. Its mission is to support the women leaders of today and tomorrow. Members include government leaders, international nonprofit leaders, and luminaries from academia, arts, and sciences.  IWF hosts two international conferences annually that bring leaders together to examine critical issues of the day.