Jamaica’s First Woman President of the Senate Dies

A report from The Caribbean National Weekly.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described, Jeanette Grant-Woodham, the first woman to hold the position of President of the Senate, as a “trailblazer’ as he expressed condolences to her family and friends “of this great Jamaican woman.

“Jeanette Grant-Woodham is a trailblazer. She can attach the words, ‘first woman to ever’, to many of her accomplishments in the areas of politics and education,” he said, adding that she had “pushed boundaries, broke barriers, and did the seemingly impossible. May her soul rest in peace”.

A statement issued by the Senate President, Thomas Tavares-Finson, on Tuesday did not indicate the cause of death, but noted that she “was a warm individual who gave unparalleled service to the people of Jamaica”.

Grant-Woodham, 82, was appointed to the Senate in 1980. She was elected deputy president in 1980 and was elevated to the presidency from 1984-1986. She also served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry.

She was also the first principal of Tivoli Gardens High School and served the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, the Council of Community Colleges and the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools in various capacities over the years.

“Mrs Grant-Woodham was committed to the cause of women’s political empowerment. She was an active member of Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus and after her retirement from active politics, became a Certified Political Trainer for Women,” Tavares-Finson said.

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