Bahamas Election Female Candidate Plans To Break Glass Ceiling
Following a flurry of her swimsuit photos being shared on social media, the Bahamas’ youngest ratified female political candidate for this term is speaking up on women in politics and why the millennial vote is so important.
A self-made millionaire through a successful career in real estate, Reneika Knowles is a physical beauty who is encountering a few beasts on social media. When she made the declaration of her assets, she was surprised to see a bit of backlash when old bikini photos of her surfaced.
“I was a model during my younger years and competed in national pageants, but now that I am older and wiser, I’m focused on becoming a role model for little Bahamian girls I encounter on the campaign trail who need to see a representation of themselves in public office,” said Knowles.
“I was rather surprised to see that most of the body shamers so to speak were women. We as women ought to uplift each other instead of tear each other down. Who we are in the present is not solely defined by who we were in the past. I think an excellent example of that is another former beauty queen who is now an exceptional young politician in the person of Lisa Hanna of Jamaica. Many women in pageants may wear a swimsuit or a national costume but when you look at their credentials, you will see they are among the best and brightest minds. We need to see more Hillary Clintons, more Portia Simpson-Millers and more Theresa Mays in what is a male-dominated world of politics and instead of just complaining about the lack of women, I am offering myself as a candidate.”
As for her assets being over a million dollars, Knowles says she knows first hand that hard work, being able to be personable with people and setting goals before following through will yield results.
Knowles launched her first business at age 18 which gave way to two more businesses in her early 20’s. The talented entrepreneur has spoken on her success in small business and encourages young Bahamians to get creative and create their own path to wealth even if they may feel there aren’t enough opportunities. Even while on a steady job, she agrees opportunities exists to branch out with an additional stream of income.
“Real estate is very competitive, but so is pageantry, small business and so is politics,” she said. “Yes, I am a newbie to this but I have put in a lot of time and energy to navigate this course and will give it the best, especially for the sake of my constituents. I’m not the youngest person from the Progressive Liberal Party running for office this term. My colleague Clay Sweeting who is running again was in his mid-20s when he sought office for the first time.
It can be intimidating when you have people who are seasoned and are in their 60’s and 70’s telling you that you are too young, but they don’t know the incredible millennials that are leading the way in so many industries today.”
As a millennial, Knowles said she would like to work to bring more focus on STEAM initiatives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and work with young Bahamians to focus on remote careers which will allow them to be positioned and trained to take over the online marketplace, sealing the nation’s claim to fame as the first ‘smart island’ in the region.
With that, she would like to see more online safety classes for younger people so they would use sound judgment when it comes to what they share on social media platforms, understanding that some things do not need to be out in the open.
In the meantime, Knowles said she is taking things in stride and treasuring the moments she gets to meet with constituents and hear their concerns. For her, it is a challenge but one she is ready to take head on.
Source: T Nixon