Grant Woodham was a strong believer in empowerment of women in leadership — Johnson Smith

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Grant Woodham was a strong believer in empowerment of women in leadership — Johnson Smith

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith today expressed deep sadness at the passing of Jeanette Grant Woodham, OD, a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry.

Grant Woodham passed away yesterday, September 8.

“While I did not have the great pleasure of serving with her, we became friends through the Jamaica Women's Political Caucus. Mrs Grant Woodham was a trailblazer and a strong believer in mentorship and the empowerment of women in leadership,” Johnson Smith said.

“She was a great source of encouragement and always had a word of advice to offer, having so much to share from her breadth of experience in education, politics and leadership in general. She was also extremely kind and genuinely interested in the success of Jamaica and the welfare of others. She will be greatly missed,” she continued.

The minister noted that Grant Woodham joined the ministry in 1986 and had the distinction of being the first female to be appointed to the post of minister of state. With this appointment, she added to her list of other ground-breaking achievements, including her election as the first female President of the Senate of Jamaica for the period 1984-1989.

The minister said Grant Woodham is fondly remembered by staff of the ministry for her words of inspiration and encouragement, coupled with her warm personality and unique leadership skills. She was able to connect with all levels of staff, reminding them of the value of giving of their best in service to Jamaica, she added.

She noted further that in 1987, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Jamaica's membership in the United Nations, Grant Woodham delivered Jamaica's policy statement at the United Nations General Assembly. That statement, she said, focused on the major economic, social and political concerns of the time, including decolonisation, apartheid, drug abuse, the debt crisis and economic development and underscored the importance of multilateralism and partnership in dealing with challenges brought about by rapid technological, economic and social change.

Grant Woodham was also credited for her significant contributions at the regional and global levels in support of women.

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