UPP Women’s Forum honours 12 females for their outstanding work in 2022, as it marks International Women’s Day 2023

The Women’s Forum of the United Progressive Party (UPP) is taking a departure from its usual mode of honouring women on International Women’s Day.  This year, 2023, it is recognizing several persons in various disciplines – including in business and media – who have made significant contributions to nation building.

For the past two years, the Women’s Forum has singled out and honoured one person dubbed its “Woman of the Year.”  However, this time, the Forum is saluting 12 women it has christened as “She-roes.”

According to a release from the group, 2022 “was a year in which many women were called upon to give of their best, personally and professionally, as the Nation struggled to get back to normalcy after the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Therefore, the women’s arm of the UPP is acknowledging and saluting all the women, with respect and admiration, who have made the extraordinary effort to hold families, businesses, communities and country together.

The Forum also appreciates that women’s efforts often came at great personal and financial sacrifice; but to advance all facets of national life, these accommodations had to be made.

Taking this into account, the group is paying special tribute to J.Valerie Hodge for rebuilding a signature small business and regional tourism’s longest-running event, Shirley Heights Lookout, after it was decimated by the pandemic.

For undaunted social activism in the face of State-led oppression, the Forum is honouring Donnette Simon and Shenel “Bonita” Williams of the Freedom Fighters for Antigua and Barbuda, who were arrested, charged and are being prosecuted for standing up for what they believed – i.e., that the COVID-19 vaccine should not have been made mandatory.

Three women are being recognized for increasing and advancing the participation of women in elective politics, and they are Dr. Cleon Athill, Gladys Potter, and Pearl Quinn-Williams, all of whom contested the recent General Election on an opposition ticket.

Joan McEwen is honoured for her fearless political activism aimed at bringing about national change, while Dotsie Isaac is recognized for her promotion of social consciousness and personal activism through the fine arts, specifically spoken word/poetry.

For reinforcing the human right to freedom of information, via social media, and for balanced national discussion of political and social issues, respectively, the Forum is honouring Dr. Jacqui Quinn and Barbara Arrindell.

Erica Phillip and Oniecia Anthony are both being saluted for their public relations and scientific and economic services to the agriculture sector, in particular to the farmers of the Southwest Community.

The Forum says that these outstanding women will be recognized through the profiling of their achievements and continuing work, as the month of March continues, through the UPP’s various media outlets, including Progressive 107.3 FM; REAL News; and the MYUPP Facebook page.