Ruth Nita Barrow, Renowned

DYK on this day in MoorStory365 that

Ruth Nita Barrow was born on November 15, 1916. She was a Jamaican nurse, politician, and administrator. She was also the sister of Errol Barrow, first Prime Minister of Barbados.

She was born in Barbados at Nesfield, St. Lucy, where she trained as a nurse, midwife, and health care administrator, holding a variety of nursing, public health and public administration jobs in Barbados and Jamaica in the 1940s and 1950s.

Barrow made her contributions in several arenas, but her most prominent contributions were in nursing education and with the YWCA. She worked on the professional organization of nurses and the establishment of quality nursing education.

Her accomplishments in all the areas in which she chose to work is phenomenal. One has only to look at a few of the highlights of her career. She was the first World Health Organization (WHO)Nurse from the Caribbean, the first president of the Jamaica Nurses Association, the first Black Caribbean woman president of the World-Wide YWCA in 1975.

She was the convener of the 1985 nongovernmental organization (NGO) forum held in Nairobi, Kenya; Barbados’ prominent representative to the United Nations.

The opportunities for training were taken up as they came and Nita Barrow moved from nurse to nursing instructor at the School of Public Health in Jamaica to consultant for the World Health Organization. She was acclaimed all over the world for her skill, graciousness, and talent in convening the Decade of Women non-governmental forum in Nairobi in 1985.

There were over 1,300 workshops and thousands of women from the world over. Many of these women were on opposite sides of the political fence and Nita Barrow and her staff ensured the smooth running of this potentially volatile event.

In 1986, she was appointed Barbados’ permanent representative to the United Nations. She has received two honorary doctorates, one from MacMaster University in Canada and one from the University of the West Indies. Barrow was the Governor-general of Barbados from June 1990 to her death on December 19, 1995.

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