Women and Adversity:
21st Century Women
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason
President of Barbados
I have been to Barbados and remember passing the stark white State House where the president of the country lives. The singer Rihanna is a native of Barbados, which is comprised of 167 square miles with a population of about 287,000 people. It is the easternmost Caribbean Island. St. Vincent and the Grenadines are 100 miles west of it while Grenada is 162 miles southwest of it.
Barbados made news in September 2020 when officials announce that Barbados was going to be a republic and terminate its status with the British Empire. That goal was achieved on November 30, 2021, when it installed its first president: a woman named Dame Sandra Prunella Mason.
The island made a wise choice in electing Mason. She not only has stellar credentials, but “first woman” follows many of her achievements.
Dame Sandra Mason:
- Born January 17, 1949 in East Point, St. Philip, Barbados
- Attended St. Catherine’s Primary School until she was nine then admitted to Queen’s College
- Taught at Princess Margaret Secondary School in British Columbia for one year
- Worked at Barclays Bank in various capacities from 1969-1977
- Received Bachelor of Laws degree in 1973 from University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados
- 1975 became first Barbadian woman admitted to the Barbados Bar
- In 2014 became first Barbadian appointed to membership in Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal. This tribunal operates among members of the Commonwealth of Nations to resolve issues concerning contract disputes.
- In 2017 became the first woman president of the tribunal
- In 2017 appointed as the eighth Governor-General of Barbados
- As a result of that appointment, Queen Elizabeth conferred on her the Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
- Took over duties of governor-general January 8, 2018
- Elected president of Barbados October 20, 2021
- Installed as President of Barbados November 30, 2021
- Son Matthew is also a lawyer
- She doesn’t reveal personal information
- No record of a husband or a divorce
Learn more about her:
Sandra Mason – the woman replacing The Queen as Head of State in Barbados – Royal Central
Dame Sandra tells Barbadians to chart new future – NationNews Barbados — nationnews.com
Caribbean Elections Biography | Sandra Prunella Mason
Barbados elects Dame Sandra Mason as the country’s first-ever president : NPR
You give insightful comments every time! And you are right. 1st is going to be dropped in the near future.
Let me first acknowledge my appreciation for this valuable series saluting 21st Century Women leaders around the world, especially those beyond the scope our own personal interest.
The background of experienced leadership with the British Commonwealth earned Dame Sandra Prunella Mason the presidential election in Barbados.
As the role of women around the world becomes more and more commonplace, we will find ourselves dropping the use of “1st woman” in the introductions of female world leaders.