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'The VI society is still chauvinistic'- Shaina M. Smith

- Women in politics blatantly disregarded & disrespected, says Claude O. Skelton-Cline
Former political candidate, businesswoman and commentator Shaina M. Smith believes the Virgin Islands society is still chauvinistic and encourages women to be more courageous but not to be arrogant. Photo: Team of Reporters
Some of the pioneer women in Virgin Islands politics have been, from left, Ethlyn Smith, Eileene L. Parsons OBE, and R. Dancia Penn QC. Photo: GIS/File
Some of the pioneer women in Virgin Islands politics have been, from left, Ethlyn Smith, Eileene L. Parsons OBE, and R. Dancia Penn QC. Photo: GIS/File
The Virgin Islands currently has two female legislators, Hons Delores Christopher (R5), right, and Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), left. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands currently has two female legislators, Hons Delores Christopher (R5), right, and Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), left. Photo: VINO/File
Ms Shaina M. Smith, right, was a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton- Cline on his weekly radio show, Honestly Speaking, aired February 27, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M. Photo: Facebook
Ms Shaina M. Smith, right, was a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton- Cline on his weekly radio show, Honestly Speaking, aired February 27, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- All over the world the discussion of equality for women and their place in politics have been had. Yesterday, Tuesday February 27, 2018, the discussion was brought home as former Manager of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and political commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline opened talks about women in Virgin Islands politics.

Referring to the present government, Mr Skelton- Cline stated, “My personal view [is] that the two women who sit there now do not get the kind of respect that they ought to… The system, when it relates to women in particular, backbenchers in general, but certainly if you are a woman there is this blatant disregard and disrespect for how they are treated.”

Mr Skelton- Cline was at the time sharing his views with guest and commentator Shaina M. Smith on his radio talk show, Honestly Speaking, aired on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M.

The Virgin Islands currently has two female legislators, Hons Delores Christopher (R5) and Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6). According to Ms Smith, this is not enough. She explained that, “because it's only two they might be of the view where it’s like, well they’re there and that’s it. Versus no that’s not enough, out of 13 seats we need to see more, we need to hear more female voices added to this conversation at that national level.”

While there are many factors that contribute to the presence of women in politics, the treatment that those presently there receive is definitely an issue. Ms Smith, a former political candidate, agrees saying, “That’s where too it discourages other women from running for politics because then it’s kind of like your opinion is second class as it were and may not hold as much weight.”

A need for more women in politics

Ms Smith, who has two contested the general elections without any success, said she wants to see more women in politics. "I want to see more young women taking that step of faith, I have to call it,” Ms Smith confessed. She went on to explain that women have a different way of thinking and this will bring balance to decision making.

Ms Smith postulated that, “you have diversity in life. A male perspective and a female perspective is always different. We may agree on certain things and never come to a consensus. We need that in your government structure. We need to have multiple perspective so that you can make better decisions.”

Worldwide women have taken to politics and have been making their voices heard in decision making, even holding the top positions in many nations. Asia, Europe, Africa all have their share of female head of state and even the United Kingdom, has a female, Theresa M. May, at the helm as Prime Minister.

“What is holding us back from being confident enough in terms of voting for a woman as the Premier for the country? No one would come out publicly but there will be reservations,” Ms Smith added.

Some of the pioneer women in Virgin Islands' politics have been Ethlyn Smith, Eileene L. Parsons OBE, and R. Dancia Penn QC. 

Challenges to women in Politics

No one wants to admit it but there are persons in our society who are of the view that a woman’s place is in the home with the children and that politics and leadership should be left to the males. Ms Smith admitted to experiencing some of this, “especially coming back home.”

This view often times makes women feel they have to work twice as hard to receive the same recognition as their male counterparts. Ms Smith explained that “The society is still chauvinistic,” and encourages women to be more courageous but not to be arrogant. “You have to earn those stripes.”

18 Responses to “'The VI society is still chauvinistic'- Shaina M. Smith”

  • one eye (01/03/2018, 18:49) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    she is right
  • I agree (01/03/2018, 20:13) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    with you on this one 100 %. Yes take the bold step don't be arrogant come out from under the shells and shadows and make BVI stronger greater and better. BVI will rise again.
  • cay (01/03/2018, 21:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is bizarre that the male dominated society is making the same mistake, repeating the same action and hoping for different results.
  • women power (01/03/2018, 21:07) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is no silver lining here. Everyone ends up losing. lets use all our people equally
  • male chauvinistic pig (01/03/2018, 23:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    WO BEYOND TO MAN
  • Hmm (02/03/2018, 06:45) Like (19) Dislike (10) Reply
    In terms of politics, women have to run for politics to be voted. A society can’t be judged as chauvinistic if the decision to run is a freedom anyone can accept or decline and it just so happens most women decline it.

    I disagree with this lady for saying the country is politically chauvinist because if it were we wouldn’t have voted for any women in the past or present. The women who got in got in because they worked hard and the people wanted them. The women and men who fail failed because the people didn’t want them. Don’t be bitter about how the world works. All the candidates could be women next time and Ms. Smith would still get a no. Especially with the aid distribution debacle and all the nonsense she talks.

    Equal rights doesn’t equal equality of outcome so stop pushing that drivle here. If women want something they have to compete and get it just like what men have been doing all along.

  • facts man (02/03/2018, 07:25) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    The 2 ndp ladies are certainly not respected or treated fairly
  • lmao (02/03/2018, 08:24) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    What NONSENSE!!! How many viable women have contested elections? Dancia, Ethlyn Smith, Eileen Parsons, Alvera, Delores. Who else ran and was worthy of garnering real votes? Now compare that to the number of viable males that ran. The bottomline is instead of complaining, more women need to come fwd. You think just being a woman mean you will get votes?
  • Donnell (02/03/2018, 08:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    She should have swiped left.
  • Talker (02/03/2018, 08:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good points but not this woman
  • Well Well (02/03/2018, 08:54) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well Well. Is this the same man who called down the first woman as deputy premier, when he was running against her?
    wow , hope we all learn from our mistakes.
    • Well (05/03/2018, 00:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      He really needs to apologise. He claims to be a man of the Clothe and he is setting a bad example. He cannot expect any respect from any serious people. That is the reason why he lost. He will continue to lose too.
  • In Offices TOO (02/03/2018, 11:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    My sister I am currently working in an office with a man who has made the comment that women were meant to stay home and clean house. The supervisor is a woman and from what I have noticed he hates taking instructions from women.
  • Boo (02/03/2018, 13:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Searching for relevance
  • brad boynes. (02/03/2018, 14:56) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    There IS a tendency for women to be less corrupt than men in politics and law enforcement generally. Bring the arguments now.
  • Really (04/03/2018, 14:58) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    They also tend to be more spiteful and bad minded. This one lost because she did not meet the standard. What is her problems. She needs to stop writing crap on the internet/facebook. Her mind is closed. We are still not voting for her so she needs to stop the divisiveness.



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