Meet The Women In The Houses Of Parliament

The Senate (Upper House)

According to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), the Senate is a nominated House made up of 21 members. Thirteen Senators are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The other eight are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

Not more than four Ministers can be appointed from the Senate, and they may have portfolio responsibilities. The Senate usually functions as a review chamber, considering Bills passed by the House of Representatives. But the Senate may also initiate legislation, except money Bills.

Government Senators – Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)

JLP sen
(L-R) Kamina Johnson Smith, Dr Saphire Longmore, Kerensia Morrison
  1. Kamina Johnson Smith – Minister of Foreign Affairs & Leader of Government Business: Johnson Smith is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Leader of Government Business. An attorney-at-law- for 15 years, she is the managing partner in the firm K Johnson Smith & Co. She is a member of the the LIME Foundation, the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus, and a member of the advisory board of the iLead Jamaica National Foundation. She received her BA in French and International Relations from University of the West Indies, Mona, and a Bachelor of Laws from the UWI, Cave Hill. She also has a Master of Laws in Commercial Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is also a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School.
  2. Dr Saphire Longmore: A consultant psychiatrist, narrowly lost the Eastern St Andrew seat to the PNP’s Andre Hylton in the 2011 general election, after only six weeks of campaigning and being five months pregnant. She contested the St Elizabeth North Eastern in the recent election, but lost to the PNP’s Evon Redman. The Glenmuir High School past student also has the distinction of the first practising medical doctor who entered a national beauty pageant and walked away with the crown of Miss Jamaica Universe in the year 2000.
  3. Kerensia Morrison: A high school teacher by profession, she is also the assistant general secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Area Council Two, the party’s candidate/caretaker in the Crescent Division of North Central St Catherine, which includes her hometown of Angels. She became a part of Generation 2000 (G2K), the JLP’s young professionals affiliate, while at Mico College.

Opposition Senators – People’s National Party (PNP)

PNP sen
(L-R) Sophia Frazer-Binns, Angela Brown Burke
    1. Angela Brown Burke: The former deputy Senate president, Brown Burke is the mayor of Kingston and chairman of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation. She is also a long-serving councillor for the Norman Gardens division in East Kingston and Port Royal, and is a vice-president of the People’s National Party. She holds a Master’s in Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics from the University of Havana, Cuba, an MBA (Business Administration and Policy) from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) and a PhD in adult educational literacy at the National-Louis University in Chicago.
    2. Sophia Frazer-Binns: A graduate of Westwood High School, Frazer-Binns holds Bachelor of Law degree from the UWI, Cave Hill, a Certificate in Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School and a Master of Law in Entertainment from the University of Westminster, London. She also holds the Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and International Relations from the UWI, Mona. Prior to establishing her private practice in 2010, Frazer-Binns served at the Kingston Legal Aid Clinic, the Office of The Children’s Advocate and the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP). She also lectures part time at the University of Technology.