Dominica Editor's Choice

Wendy Wallace among five Dominican women chosen as inductees of the Women in Politics Leadership Institute program

Wendy Wallace among five Dominican women chosen as inductees of the Women in Politics Leadership Institute program

Following their applications to the Women in Politics Leadership Institute program (WIPLI), five Dominican women are among the twenty (20) inductees chosen for this year’s program. This program is sponsored by the US Embassy Bridgetown.

Remarkably, daughters of the soil Wendy Wallace, Elleen Commodore, Daustina Commodore, Abigail Christmas, and Ketisha Joseph-Dangleben are pleased to be selected among this auspicious cohort.

Upon interview with Emonews, Wallace who hails from the northern community of Bense, expressed, “I was immediately drawn to the mission of ROWL in cementing powerful females in political leadership positions. I have quite the knack for the equality of women in decision-making processes. To augment my understanding of governance as well as the challenges and barriers that women face in accessing that field, I made that step to apply to build on my knowledge. I was also interested in networking with other amazing women in the region who share similar sentiments.”

Furthermore, she highlighted that upon receipt of the email from WIPLI, she was quite elated and relieved. “I was anxious to begin the process as I’ve heard only amazing opportunities deriving from the program. I hope the imparted knowledge will encourage me to find my political voice and platform to advocate on the core issues which affect the everyday woman,” she added.

Fascinatingly, Wallace recognizes the significant progress that has been made regarding gender representation in politics in Dominica. “If you look back in our history, since independence in 1978, women have operated at top levels of political decision-making. We have clearly set the stage for women in politics in the Caribbean, having elected powerful women like Elma Napier, Dame Eugenia Charles, who became the first female PM in Dominica, and others like Phyllis Shand Allfrey who was integral in forming the Dominica Labour Party,” she voiced.

According to Wallace, it is commendable and eye opening to witness the increased representation of women in politics. “We have moved from 3 female sitting MPs under the UWP administration to have about 11 out of 19 MPs and Senators sitting in the House of Assembly who are female,” she articulated.

Despite this progress, she pointed out that there has been a rise in bullying and sexist remarks to women in politics, especially via social media which is both discriminatory and unnecessary. In addition to that, she believes that women’s contributions in politics are not statistically recognized neither are policies or laws implemented to reflect the fight for gender issues, like sexual and reproductive rights, period poverty, sexual harassment and violence against women.

Moreover, she took the opportunity to encourage other women to find their political voice, utilize any opportunity to speak out on those issues that directly affect women and to identify solutions to those problems. “Fight that Imposter Syndrome and affirm your right to belong on that stage so that your voice can be the echo for women in Dominica. I would also encourage women to support each other through any means possible and resist the urge to tear down each others reputations on social media,” she ended.

While these five women seek to address the issues plaguing women in politics and society by extension, Emonews congratulates them and wishes them well in the future.

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Emo News Editors

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