The Cayman Islands has increased its proud record of women in significant roles in public office with the arrival of the new Governor, Jane Owen. She arrived in the Cayman Islands on Friday then was sworn in at the House of Parliament.
Owen was officially welcomed by members of the government at the Owen Roberts International Airport and the public swearing-in ceremony was held soon after. A welcome reception was also held at Pedro St. James on Saturday evening.
Lucille Seymour is one of the most celebrated Caymanian women in its rich history. A former teacher and education official, in the Cayman Islands Government, she was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Sports, Women, Youth Affairs and Culture. She has spent decades helping to empower the youth, women and others through sports and community development. Seymour was active in developing the National Youth Policy and the Office of Women’s Affairs and the Women’s Resource Centre and received the British Empire Medal (BEM) from Her Majesty the Queen for her work in these areas. She is also a stalwart in Cayman’s netball scene.
On the eve of Governor Owen’s arrival, Seymour said: “The Cayman Islands is ‘the country that time forgot’ claimed the historians. Perhaps overlooked by others but not by the inhabitants. We have risen above that slogan to a county only 60 years ago that gave women the vote and the ability to become politicians. But yet, a small country has acclaimed itself as incomparable in many things. One such is the opportunity in the 21st century that, as of tomorrow, three branches of Government are led by females.”
Seymour pointed out that besides Owen, Hon Speaker Katherine Ebanks-Wilks became, at 43, in November, the youngest Speaker of the House and Margaret Ramsay-Hale was last year sworn in as the first female Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands.
She added: “Added to this is the Deputy Premier, Julianna Connor. I never thought in my lifetime. But as they say, nothing happens before its time. I hope this will be an example to our young women and girls. That they see that they too can make more historical changes in the Cayman Islands. They have a responsibility as females to help other females, to find a chance not only to be great but be change-makers for the common good in their islands. The change must come from us.”