(CNS Local Life): The George Town Public Library is exhibiting a special display, “Her Story is Our History”, that features framed replicas of the original 1948 and 1957 petitions signed by women demanding the right to vote and stand for public office. The Cayman Islands National Archive printed the fragile documents and the vast majority of the signatures can clearly be read.
Those individuals who attended the documentary viewings of Her Story is Our History: Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Cayman Islands last month have already gotten the opportunity view this display, with many able to identify family members who signed the documents.
The display, arranged through the Gender Affairs Unit under the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, is meant to remind people to not take voting for granted as many have had to fight for this basic human right, stated a ministry press release. 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.
Gender Affairs Minister Tara Rivers said she was delighted that the display of the petitions could be made available to the public. “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,” she said.
“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.”
The display can be viewed between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, until 23 May.
The exhibit 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. While supplies last, visitors can take home a poster.