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Cablegate: Bahamas Nomination for International Women of Courage Award

VZCZCXRO0593
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHBH #0740 3421616
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081615Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NASSAU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0067
INFO EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS NASSAU 000740

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
S/GWI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KWMN BF
SUBJECT: BAHAMAS NOMINATION FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN OF COURAGE AWARD

REF: STATE 00111471

1. The GCOB nominates The Honorable Janet G. Bostwick, former
Minister of Justice and Immigration, Attorney-General and Minister
of Foreign Affairs, for the International Women of Courage Award.

2. Bostwick was born October 20, 1939 in Nassau. She was the first
woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament in 1982, and was
re-elected in 1987 and 1992. She was the first woman appointed to
the Cabinet as Minister of Social Services, National Insurance and
Housing 1992-1993. This ministry handled social services, school
welfare, rehabilitate welfare services, social development
programs, women's affairs, early child care centers, psychiatric
and medical social services.

3. Bostwick has dedicated her life to the cause of women and was
instrumental in improving the social conditions of Bahamian women
through agitating for amendments to several pieces of legislation
including: The Matrimonial Causes Act (1978); The Affiliation
Proceedings Act (1981); The Bar Act (1981); The Female Employees
(Grant of Maternity Leave) Act (1988); and The Sexual Offenses and
Domestic Violence Act (1991).

4. Bostwick began her public service career as a stenographer in
The Bahamas Legal Department from 1957-1960. She was promoted to
Private Secretary to the Attorney General from 1961-1967. While
serving as an Administrative Officer in the same department from
1967-1971 she became an articled law student to the Attorney
General and was called to The Bahamas Bar. From 1971-1974 she
served variously as Crown Counsel, Magistrate, and Crown Prosecutor
before becoming a partner in the law firm of Bostwick and Bostwick
in 1975. She served as President of the Bahamas Bar Association
from 1980-1981.

5. Bostwick entered politics in 1976 and was appointed to the
Senate of The Bahamas in 1977. She was first elected to the House
of Assembly as an opposition member in 1982. She has also served
as President of the Free National Movement Women's Association and
President of the International Caribbean Women for Democracy. She
serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Girl's
Brigade, and as a Council member of The Bahamas Girl Guides
Association. Bostwick has also held positions as Secretary
General, Bahamas Public Services Union and past patron, Hope House
(Home for unwed mothers).

6. A former Minister of Justice and Immigration, Attorney-General
and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Bostwick was appointed
Minister of Foreign Affairs in November, 1994. She held the
additional portfolio of Attorney-General from November, 1994, to
January 1995, and again from October 1995, to March 1997.

7. Mrs. Bostwick's contributions have left an indelible imprint on
the political history of The Bahamas and her achievements continue
to inspire women throughout the region. Mrs. Bostwick has not yet
been notified of the nomination, however the GCOB does not foresee
any problem in her traveling to the U.S. in March were she to
receive the award.

8. Her contact information is Janet Bostwick, 50 George Street,
P.O. Box 1605, Nassau, Bahamas, email: bostwick@batelnet.bs,
Telephone: 242-322-2038.

9. Political Officer Wendy Rejan is the officer at post responsible
for the nomination. She can be reached by phone at 242-322-1181
ext. 4510 and by e-mail at RejanWA@state.gov.
AVANT

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