Senator Zoe Camille Allyson Maynard Gibson (“Allyson”) is a leading advocate for the rights of women and children, whose public and private work exemplify a quest for justice and transformation. She is currently serving her second stint as the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Barry University teaches in all disciplines the importance of justice, mercy and walking humbling with God. Her examples at home together with the “Barry experience” significantly shaped the course of her life.
Allyson’s advocacy, which commenced upon her return to The Bahamas in 1980, has led to significant law reform. Some include the ability for the anonymity for victims of rape to be preserved; statutory maternity leave with guaranteed employment upon return to the workplace after confinement; domestic violence laws and sexual harassment laws. Policy changes for which she advocated include changes in the manner in which police investigate rape cases; the ability for the court to be cleared when rape victims give evidence; and, the ability for “family court” Magistrates to sit less formally as they investigate the best interests of the child rather than allow adversarial positions to dominate the hearing.
She is a past President of both the International Women’s Forum (“IWF”) and the Leadership Foundation of the IWF. During her tenure the IWF undertook a successful rebranding exercise; several international Forums joined; the Executive Development Roundtable expanded; and, the IWF’s relationship with the All China Women’s Federation (“ACWF”) was strengthened (she was awardedin 2011 by the ACWF for her “outstanding contributions to women’s leadership”).
As Attorney General, Allyson is leading a significant thrust to improve the administration of justice. The objective of “Swift Justice”is for justice to be seen to be sure and swift, so that liberty and democracy may be preserved. Changes include: cases heard when set down for trial (rather than being adjourned for avoidable reasons); the number of Judges and courtsincreased; courts equipped with 21st century technology and services; personnel trained;laws changed to effect 21st century efficiencies; a significant “people’s involvement campaign” launched; and, plans underway for a Family Court and a Drug Rehabilitation Court.
As the 2013-2014 Chair of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (“CFATF”), a regional body of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), Allyson has set a goal of laying the foundation for all of the CFATF member countries to emerge “at least 75% compliant from the 4th Round of FATF Mutual Evaluations” (evaluating the anti money laundering and counter terrorism financing regimes of member countries). The objective of this thrust is enhanced collaboration, cooperation and sharing of resources between peoples and member countries of the CFATF Region and a clearer understanding by all citizens of the Region of the imperative for a strong and well regulated financial sector.
She brought her strong sense of Community to her term as the Member of Parliament for the Pinewood Constituency (2002-2007) during which time community parks and recreational facilities were developed (including an international standard baseball diamond; tennis courts; basketball courts; a walking track and children’s playgrounds) and focused attention brought to a long standing drainage problem.
An Anglican, Allyson has been actively involved in National and Provincial reforms to strengthen the Anglican Church as well as past service as a Sunday School teacher.
She draws her inspiration from her Parents and Grandparents all of whom were committed to public service, the many persons who have mentored her and the persons whom she mentors. Her proudest accomplishment is, with her husband Maxwell, raising daughters both of whom have a deep rooted sense of justice and fairness.