U.S. Chargé Recognizes a Matriarch of Women’s Rights


US Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman announces the Hon. Janet Bostwick as the U.S. Embassy’s 2012 International Woman of Courage. What happen to Effie Walkes?

Janet G. Bostwick presented with International Woman of Courage Award

As part of The College of The Bahamas’ and the Bureau of Women’s Affair’s inaugural symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas, United States Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman presented the Honorable Janet Bostwick with a special plaque on March 6 in recognition of her pioneering work over the last four decades in advancing women’s rights in The Bahamas.

The presentation distinguished Mrs. Bostwick as the U.S. Embassy’s 2012 International Woman of Courage; the U.S. State Department’s highest award for female leaders.

In his remarks, Mr. Dinkelman noted that the U.S. Embassy views the award as an opportunity to not only honor the achievements of one remarkable individual, but also to renew the call for action, investment, and commitment to women’s equality.

Quoting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Dinkelman said,

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.”

Mrs. Bostwick is considered by many a national “matriarch of women’s rights” who for the last forty years persevered in the struggle to address inequalities faced by women throughout The Bahamas.  As a Member of Parliament, Mrs. Bostwick has fought for and achieved a number of milestones in support of women’s rights in The Bahamas, including the Affiliation Proceeding Act, the Inheritance Act, the Matrimonial Causes Act and the Status of Children Act, as well as amendments to labor and National Insurance legislation.

Upon receiving the plaque presented by Mr. Dinkelman, Mrs. Bostwick said that she was honored by the recognition and graciously accepted the award on behalf of all Bahamian women.

To mark the 101st observance of International Women’s Day on March 8, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the International Women of Courage Awards honoring ten female global leaders who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.  The award ceremony will be webcast live on March 8 at 11:00 am on the U.S. Embassy’s website at http://nassau.usembassy.gov.