“Her Story is Our History” Display at the Historic George Town Library

Signatory of the 1957 petition Ms. Genevieve Henning (centre) and other guests, enjoying seeing her signature and those of the other brave women who signed the petitions at the premiere of the documentary “Her Story is Our History: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Cayman Islands”.

The Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs (MEEGA) is inviting members of the public to view the display currently at the Historic George Town Library, “Her Story is Our History”. The display features framed replicas of the original 1948 and 1957 petitions signed by the women demanding their voice to be heard and the right to vote and stand for public office to be extended to them. The Cayman Islands National Archive (CINA) did a magnificent job of printing these fragile documents and the vast majority of the signatures can clearly be read. Those individuals that attended the documentary viewings of “Her Story is Our History: Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Cayman Islands” on the 6, 22 and 29 of April, would have had the privilege of viewing this display and many took great pride in identifying family members that signed these historic documents.

This display is meant to remind people to not take the right to vote for granted as many have had to fight for this basic human right. Not only is May 2017 a politically significant time with the upcoming General Elections, but this month also marks the 60th anniversary that the 1957 petition with 358 signatures demanding women’s suffrage was placed before the Legislative Assembly of Justices and Vestry. Minister Rivers is delighted that the display of the petitions could be made available to the public and said, “I encourage all to visit the newly restored Historic George Town Library and see the hundreds of signatures that ensured a woman’s voice would be heard and no longer ignored.  It brought me great joy to see my family members’ names on the petitions and I’m sure it will do the same to others that come to view the display.  Again, I would like to thank the Gender Affairs Unit, and the Cayman Islands National Archive for making the necessary arrangements for this display to be made available to the public.”

MEEGA is appreciative of the Cayman Islands Public Library Service and their willingness to provide a space for this display.  The display can be viewed between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday until 23 May.

The display also features the “Her Story is Our History” poster with a timeline that captures major historic events in the women’s suffrage movement and steps to gender equality, specific to the Cayman Islands. Visitors are encouraged to take a poster, while supplies last. Also, any members of the public that wish to purchase a copy of the documentary “Her Story is Our History: Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Cayman Islands” are encouraged to fill out the order form that can be found on www.genderequality.ky or email genderequality@gov.ky. The DVD costs just CI$10.00.