Less than 24 hours after she led her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to victory in the May 24 general election, Mia Amor Mottley, 52, was sworn in as Barbados’ eighth prime minister on Friday, joining a handful of Caribbean women who have led governments in their respective countries.
Mottley, who first entered local politics in 1991, when she lost the St Michael North East constituency to Leroy Brathwaite, took the oath of office before Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason and in the presence of family, friends and party supporters.
Attorney and Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall also took the oath of office as Attorney General.
Mottley, who between 1994 and 2008, held a succession of ministerial portfolios, led the BLP to a whitewash of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), winning all 30 seats in the Parliament.
Mottley was the first female to be appointed Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs in 2001 and is also the youngest ever Queen’s Counsel in Barbados.
Two years later, she served as the island’s second female Deputy Prime Minister and following the BLP’s defeat in the 2008 election and Owen Arthur’s resignation as party leader, Mottley was chosen as BLP party leader on January 19, 2008.
She also served as the first female opposition leader when she was sworn in on February 7, 2008.
Mottley joins the late Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica, Janet Jagan of Guyana, Jamaica’s Portia Simpson Miller and Kamla Persad Bissessar as women who have led governments in their respective countries.
Following her party’s resounding victory, Mottley said she wanted to thank Barbadians for doing “what is best for Barbados”.
She is expected to name her Cabinet over the weekend.