There may be only four female candidates in the 2013 St Helena general election – taking up a mere fifth of the ballot paper – but that’s not to say that women are without influence on the island.
In a talk to the Friends of St Helena in 2012, former governor Andrew Gurr said:
“I looked round my advisers and nearly all of them were female, and it really says a great deal about the island and the ability of the ladies to get through the work. They are very competent.
“The men aren’t as competent generally. I hate to say it. I wish they were.”
Maybe the women have worked out that they wield more power in behind-the-scenes roles, rather than as politicians.
That would tie in with another of Mr Gurr’s observations.
“The councillors, although they had democratic power, were more reticent to wield it,” he said. “They had no control of real happenings; not in total, anyway. There was a big area of the civil service over which they had very little influence indeed.”
We were not told who staffed that big area. Could they have been women, perhaps?