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Girls & Women

Barbados Just Elected Its First Female Prime Minister

The small island country of Barbados celebrated a huge win for women when it elected its first female prime minister on May 25.

Mia Mottley, a lawyer and the head of the Barbados Labour Party, is the first woman to lead the nation since it gained its independence from Britain 52 years ago.

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"This is not my victory. This is not the Labour Party's victory,” Mottley said after learning her party had won the election. “This is the people of Barbados' victory.”

The 52-year-old not only made history last week, she also achieved a life-long dream. As a secondary school student, Mottley reportedly told her teacher that she would become Barbados’ first female prime minister one day.

Mottley championed democracy and greater government transparency during her campaign.

Read more: Costa Rica Just Elected Latin America’s First Black Female Vice President

"This must be our legacy to the people of Barbados: to give you back your government and your governance," Mottley said in her victory speech.

And the people of Barbados, including singer and Global Citizen Rihanna, couldn’t be happier.

Mottley may be the first woman to lead Barbados, but she’s not the first female head of a Caribbean country. Eugenia Charles was the first woman to claim that honor in 1980 when she became the prime minister of Dominica. Still, Mottley is just the fifth woman in the English-speaking Caribbean region to be elected to a head of government position, according to HuffPost.

Global Citizen campaigns in support gender equality and women’s representation. You can take action here to empower girls and women around the world.