Eugenia Charles Prime Minister Of Dominica
April 3, 2012 by staff
Eugenia Charles Prime Minister Of Dominica, Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, DBE (15 May 1919 – 6 September 2005) was Prime Minister of Dominica from 21 July 1980 until 14 June 1995. She was Dominica’s first, and to date only, female prime minister, as well as the nation’s longest serving prime minister. She was the second female prime minister in the Caribbean after Lucinda da Costa of the Netherlands Antilles, and the first woman elected in her own right as head of government in the Americas.
She was the world’s third longest-serving female Prime Minister, behind Indira Gandhi of India and Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, and the world’s longest continuously serving female Prime Minister ever.
Charles was born in the fishing village of Pointe Michel in Saint Luke parish, to a “coloured bourgeoise” family. She attended Convent School in Dominica, the island’s only girls’ secondary school, and became interested in law while working at the colonial magistrate’s court.
She worked for many years as assistant to Alastair Forbes. She attended university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada before moving to the United Kingdom to attend the London School of Economics. She was a member of the sorority Sigma Gamma Rho. She passed the bar and returned to Dominica, where she became the island’s first female lawyer, establishing a practice specialising in property law.
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