Women in politics: NRP meets International requirements

The sole woman candidate in Nevis local elections, Patricia “Patsy” Hanley

Charlestown, Nevis – July 5 2011 — Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) has to a certain extent met requirements outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by sponsoring a female candidate, Patricia “Patsy” Hanley who is contesting the second time against the local Opposition Leader, Hon. Vance Amory who is the Gingerland constituency incumbent.

CEDAW is an important International treaty that upholds the importance of women’s involvement in the political machinery of state parties.

Patricia “Patsy” Hanley married and a mother of two adult children, is the sole woman candidate in Nevis’s local election. The United Nations Division on the Advancement of women reports that as of September 30,2003, 174 countries or 90 percent of the members of the United Nations have become party to the Convention.

The visibility of Ms Hanley and her ability to share a platform with male candidates enables the world to see that women candidates are not completely left out in the 2011 Nevis local elections thanks to NRP’s insight. When the St. Kitts and Nevis Women Issues Manifesto was launched in 2009, the St. Kitts and Nevis representative, speakers during the launch ceremony said a lot of work remains to be done when it comes to having women’s participation in party politics.

There are 135 men and 23 women who serve in the Legislative Chambers of the OECS, with men outnumbering women by a ratio of approximately five to one.

Ms Hanley, supported by her party is set to keep the women’s flag visible. She said in an interview that an inspiration in 2005 prompted her to go into politics to challenge the incumbent, Hon. Vance Amory, the leader of the local Opposition and former Premier for she felt that her constituency was neglected.

“In 2005, I told myself that one of these days I am going to challenge Mr Amory,” Hanley said during an interview at her Constituency office located in Clay Ghaut. Hanley is a former nurse and has also worked in the hospital and at the community level. Through her nursing career, she has nurtured people of all backgrounds.

This is the second time she is challenging Hon. Amory. She said her maiden attempt to unseat Hon. Amory in 2005 gave her the momentum she has sustained.

She does not feel intimidated to be the sole female candidate. “Men need a woman among them. Sometimes they need simple graces and direction because a woman would not say certain things that a man says. A woman can make a difference in the political arena. Women are more compassionate.”

She is aware that winning elections on the island of Nevis as female candidate is an uphill task as women do not vote around women issues. Women vote around party lines.

She would like to see more women get involved in mainstream politics. She would also like to see many women rally behind female candidates.

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