Progress comes in different forms and variations. Some expected. Some unexpected. In 1962, progress for women, in politics, came with the granting of the franchise, but it also came in one unexpected way. Toilets!

The Votes for Women Act 1961 became reality with the first woman, Ruby Ann Darling, a clerk in the Parliamentary Registration Department, registering on Monday, July 2, 1962.

By July 11, the all male parliament realised that they had a problem. Granting the franchise to women now meant that they had to accommodate the fairer sex in the most basic way possible.

It is nevertheless incredible to think that in the history of organised politics in the Bahamas, the first female toilets, in the House of Assembly, only arrived in 1962.


Here is another ‘sign of the times’. Toilet facilities for WOMEN are being installed in the House of Assembly.

With the granting of the franchise came also the right to run for public office, and it is quite probable that Bahamian women will sit in future sessions of the House as MHAs.

(MHAs – Members of the House of Assembly)

Wednesday, July 11, 1962, The Nassau Herald

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