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Five things to know about Mia Mottley, Barbados’ first female prime minister


The Caribbean Island of Barbados has elected for the first time a female prime minister, Mia Mottley.

Mottley was on Friday sworn in as the eighth prime minister and the fifth female head of state in the English-speaking Caribbean. The other Caribbean female heads of state include the late Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica, Janet Jagan of Guyana, Portia Simpson Miller in Jamaica and Kamla Persad Bissessar in Trinidad and Tobago.

Here are a few facts about Mottley you need to know:

She comes from a family of political leaders

Mottley is the granddaughter of Ernest Deighton Mottley, first Mayor of Bridgetown in 1959. He has been quite a huge influence in her life, together with her father, Elliott Deighton Mottley, a barrister who sat in the Assembly and her Uncle, Ernest Deighton Mottley, who was a leader of a local party called Christian Social Democratic Party (CSD).

She had dreamt of being prime minister

According to reports, the 52-year old had once told her school teacher that she would become the country’s first prime minister.

She got into politics at just 26

With her vision on the premiership, she got into politics at 26. She went ahead to serve as the Minister of Education Youth Affairs and Culture and at the age of 29, the youngest Bajan woman to hold the post. She also served as the Barbados Labour Party’s General Secretary in 1996.

She became Barbados’ first female attorney-general

In 2001, she made history as the first female Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs. She was also the youngest Queen’s Counsel in the country.

The following year, she became a second female Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Social Council of Barbados and the Deputy Chairman of Barbados’ Economic Council.

She became party leader in 2008

Mottley became the leader of the BLP in 2008 following the party’s defeat in the elections and the subsequent resignation of the then party leader, Owen Arthur. She became not only the first woman to lead the party but also led the opposition, after she was sworn in February 2008. However, her position as leader of the opposition was revoked two years later after a vote of no-confidence against her. The position reverted to former party leader Arthur.

Mottley, who received an endorsement from Rihanna now takes over from Frenduel Stuart. She is set to name her cabinet by Monday, May 28.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Mia Mottley (right) receiving the instrument of office from Governor General Dame Sandra Mason. (TeleSUR photo)

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