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Women in Politics in Grenada

Women acquired the right to vote and to become members of parliament since universal suffrage was attained for Grenada in 1951.  Since then several women have been elected to the House of Representatives or appointed to the Senate. Grenada has had three female Presidents of the Senate - Margaret Neckles (1990 - 1995), Leslie-Ann Seon (2004 - 2006), and Joan Purcell (2008 - 2013). In addition, the first female Leader of the Opposition was Winifred Strachan who served from 1990 to 1995.

Grenada has the distinction of having had the first female Governor in the Commonwealth, Dame Hilda Bynoe, who served from 1968 to 1974. Dame Cecile La Grenade is the country's current Governor-General.

The first woman elected to Grenada’s Legislative Council, Mary Louise (Eva) Sylvester, served from 1952 as representative for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, the year after the attainment of adult suffrage in 1951. Gertrude Protain was the first woman nominated to the Legislative Council, having been appointed in the late 1950’s. Other women have been in the Council, later Parliament, on a continuous basis from 1957.

From 1999 to 2007, 27% of the Lower House of Parliament has been women and the Senate has reached a high of 38% of women from 2004 to 2006. The period following the 2008 national general elections saw the prior numbers of women elected to the House of Representatives decline from four, to only two elected female representatives being elected in the 15 seat House of Representatives, one female for each parliamentary party. Since the February 2013 general elections, female constituency representatives won 5 out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives, or 33.3% of the seats. Presently, only 15.4%, that is 2 out of 13, appointed Senate seats are held by women.

Two political parties have had females as their political leader. The first was the National Democratic Congress which had Joan Purcell as Political Leader from 1998 to 1999 and the second was Grenada United Labour Party whose Political Leader from 2003 was Gloria Payne-Banfield.

Photo Name   Party Constituency Period
Cynthia Bernadette GAIRY   GULP St. David 1961 - 1979
Nadia BENJAMIN   GULP St. Andrew North West 1972 - 1976
Waple NEDD   GULP St. Andrew North East 1972 - 1976
Pauline Cecelia ANDREW   NNP St. Andrew South East 1984 - 1990
Grace M. DUNCAN   NNP St. John 1984 - 1990; 1995 - 1999
Joan M. PURCELL   NDC Town of St. George 1990 - 1995
Carriacou & Petite Martinique 1995 - 1999
Winnifred STRACHAN*   GULP St. Andrew South East 1990 - 1995
Laurina A. WALDRON   NNP St. Andrew North West 1995 - 2003
Clarice MODESTE-CURWEN   NNP St. Mark 1999 - present
Claris CHARLES   NNP St. John 1999 - 2008
Brenda HOOD   NNP Town of St. George 1999 - 2003
Yolande BAIN-HORSFORD   NNP St. Andrew South East 2003 - 2008; 2013 - present
Glynis ROBERTS   NDC St. George South 2003 - 2013
Emmalin PIERRE   NNP At. Andrew South East 2013 - present
Delma THOMAS   NNP St. Andrew North West 2013 - present
Alexandra OTWAY-NOËL   NNP St. George South 2013 - present
*First woman to be Leader of the Opposition
Election # Men # Women Total % Men %  Women
1951 8 0 8 100.0% 0.0%
1954 8 0 8 100.0% 0.0%
1957 8 0 8 100.0% 0.0%
1961 9 1 10 90.0% 10.0%
1962 9 1 10 90.0% 10.0%
1972 12 3 15 80.0% 20.0%
1976 14 1 15 93.3% 6.7%
1984 13 2 15 86.7% 13.3%
1990 13 2 15 86.7% 13.3%
1995 12 3 15 80.0% 20.0%
1999 11 4 15 73.3% 26.7%
2003 11 4 15 73.3% 26.7%
2008 13 2 15 86.7% 13.3%
2013 10 5 15 66.7% 33.3%

The publication, Women & Governance: A Grendian Experience provides biographies of several of those women leaders.


The Hon. Honourable Judith Stephanie Jones-Morgan is the Attorney General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  She has been serving in that post since 29 March 2001.  Trinidadian by birth , Mrs. Jones-Morgan was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1990 and is a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.  She has also been called to the Bar of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago respectively.  The Honourable Judith Stephanie Jones-Morgan has been working in the Public Service of St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 1992.  Prior to becoming Attorney General, she served as Crown Counsel, Senior Crown Counsel, Solicitor General (Ag.), Registrar of the High Court and Director (Ag.) of Public Prosecutions.

NNP = New National Party; NDC = New Democratic Congress; GEM = Grenada Empowerment Movement; GPM = Grenada Progressive Movement; GRP = Grenada Renaissance Party; GUPM = Grenada United Patriotic Movement; TLP = The Liberal Partry; TPP= The Progress Party; ULP = United Labour Platform; GULP = Grenada United Labour Platform; PLM = People's Labour Movement; GOD = Good Old Democracy; MBPM = Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement; URP = United Republican Party; CDLP = Christian Democratic Labour Party; GFLP = Grenada Federated Labour Party;IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Grenada Parliamentary Elections Office
Abstracts from Women in Anguilla Elections: A Retrospective Of The Women Who’ve Sought Political Office In Anguilla by Colville L. Petty, OBE.
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