Premier Recognises International Women’s Day

March 8, 2015

Today [Mar 8] Premier Michael Dunkley acknowledged the UN observance of International Women’s Day - a day which annually honours the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Premier Dunkley said, “Today we celebrate the global strides women have made in all areas of society, including politics, social justice, business, the arts, education, science and so much more.

“Generations of women before us have selflessly sacrificed their lives for the greater good. Each in their own right forged ahead during a time when few women had little or no voice. They put service of country and service of people first to bring about pioneering changes not only for women, but for entire nations.”‎

‎International Women’s Day has been recognised on March 8, since the early 1900s, and this year’s theme is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”.

Premier Dunkley noted that in the past hundred years much has been globally done to address the inequities that women have faced.

He added, “In the past century we have seen women strive in such prominent roles as ‎heads of government, top physicians and scientists, college and university presidents, corporate leaders and leaders of the church. There are women who are working and having a family, and who are making their own decisions and choices in how they lead their lives.

“‎But we recognize that there is still so much to be done and on this day in particular, we must remember those whose rights are being violated every day and those living in conflict and poverty.”‎

‎Premier Dunkley pointed out that in Bermuda, women have been “very progressive” and “countless women in our society have amassed significant historical achievements”.

“Throughout our history, there are those who bravely paved the way so that women in our society can have a seat at the table, become better educated and have a stronger presence within our community – both in the public and private sector,” he said.

“Yet with all of the progressive strides we have made in Bermuda, women still continue to face the stark realities of barriers and discrimination.

“‎This Government is committed to the advancement and upliftment of all women in our community. And we are thankful for the perseverance and strength of those women in our society who are taking bold steps to encourage and empower women by taking a stand and taking the lead. And it is my hope that more women take an active role in getting involved in the decisions that affect all women in our community.

“So I am pleased to join other countries around the world in honouring the wisdom, grace and humility of all the women who have helped shape the world we live in; most especially acknowledgement must be given to the the bedrocks of the family unit, the nurturers – the mothers, the grandmothers, the sisters, the aunts, the foster-mothers and the God-mothers. They are the foundation of our families and our communities, and their struggles and achievements should never be forgotten, nor go unappreciated, or be in vain,” concluded Premier Dunkley.

Meanwhile OBA Chair Lynne Woolridge also acknowledged the day also, saying: “Millions of women around the world are today celebrating International Women’s Day [IWD].

“On the first officially celebrated IWD in 1911, more than a million women and men in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland attended rallies and campaigned for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office and end discrimination.

“In the intervening century, progress has been made on all these fronts. But the struggle for justice and equality drags on.

“The theme for IWD this year is ‘Make it Happen’. Thousands of events in more than 100 countries are being staged to further advance and recognise women.

“The One Bermuda Alliance Government has always embraced and empowered women. They represent a third of our Parliamentary Group and hold key posts on our Executive Committee and regional branches.

“Bermuda’s women have much to celebrate and be proud of. Women are the backbone of our society and take the primary role in raising our families, some as single mothers working several jobs. Bermuda’s women have rights and freedoms not enjoyed elsewhere in the world. We have had women Premiers and community leaders. Women are represented at all levels of the corporate landscape, including as CEOs and senior executives.

“It is important to celebrate their achievements and contributions but also recognise the inequalities that still exist today throughout the world and in Bermuda. True equality remains elusive.

“Statistics show that women remain underpaid and underrepresented in senior posts in the workforce compared to men, even in the wealthiest and most highly educated societies.

“In some cultures and regions in the world, women remain subject to unthinkable treatment physically, economically and politically. Women are deprived of healthcare, legal protections, and in the case of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai, young girls face being executed for demanding an education.

“All people, both men and women, should advocate for the advancement and recognition of women in our society. They should be recognised for their contributions in moving humanity forward through their intellectual leadership in the public and private spheres, tireless advocacy on issues that impact all people and their fight for equal rights to remove gender discrimination and misguided attitudes towards “women’s work”.

“The work of powerful trend-setting women throughout our history has made our own culture and unique struggle for equality more rich and colourful. Let us take this opportunity of Women’s Day to celebrate and carry forward their contributions in economic, political and social achievements,” added Senator Woolridge.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    Ill wait till tomorrow to see if he retracts.

  2. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Premier Michael Dunkley “International Women’s Day has been recognised on March 8, since the early 1900s, and this year’s theme is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”.
    Senator Lynne Woolridge “The theme for IWD this year is ‘Make it Happen’. Thousands of events in more than 100 countries are being staged to further advance and recognise women.”

  3. Proud Woman says:

    Well Said Premier and Senator Woolridge. Senator Woolridge, thank you for being one of those Strong, Hard working and Successful women, that we have to look up too. Keep up the good work!