Bermuda’s Senate Now Majority Female

February 17, 2016

Following the most recent appointment, Bermuda’s Senate is now majority female [54.54%], with the Upper House having six female Senators, including Carol Anne Bassett, Joan Dillas-Wright, Kim Wilkerson, Renee Ming, Lynne Woolridge, and Georgia Marshall.

The change to a majority female Senate follows after the Progressive Labour Party appointed Kim Wilkerson to the Senate, with Senator Wilkerson replacing Diallo Rabain, who is now a serving MP.

The six female Senators pictured at today’s sitting of the Senate

bermuda senators feb 2016 (2)

The Senate consists of the three Independents [Carol Anne Bassett, Joan Dillas-Wright & James Jardine], the three Opposition Senators [Kim Wilkerson, Renee Ming & Marc Daniels] and the five Government Senators [Michael Fahy, Lynne Woolridge, Vic Ball, Georgia Marshall & Jeff Baron].

The current President of the Senate is Carol Bassett, who was appointed in 2003 as an Independent Senator, and in 2008 following the retirement of former Senate President Alfred Oughton, she became the female President of the Senate.

While the Senate is now majority female, the House of Assembly remains majority male, with male MPs making up some 75% of the House.

All eleven Senators pictured at today’s sitting of the Senate

bermuda senators feb 2016 (1)

The listing on the International Organization of Parliament website — which lists the gender make-up of the Senates in some 75 nations — does not list any nation as having a majority female Senate, with the next highest listing being Belgium at 50% and Bolivia at 47.2%.

Bermuda already has the distinction of having the first female Opposition Leader in the Commonwealth, a position held by the late Dame Lois Browne-Evans, as well as being one of the few nations in the world to have had three females serve as leader; Dame Pamela Gordon Banks, Dame Jennifer Smith and Paula Cox.

In addition, the 1998 General Election — which saw Dame Jennifer succeed Dame Pamela as Premier — marks one of the very few times that any nation in the world has seen power handed from one female leader to another.

During today’s session of the Senate, politicians from both sides of the aisle congratulated Senator Wilkerson on her new position, with many also remarking on the fact the Senate is now majority female.

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Comments (7)

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  1. watching says:

    why do the OBA senators look so serious? Come on and smile for the cameras!

  2. smh says:

    Shhh..don’t tell Bean

    • interesting says:

      He’s the one who is responsible for this with the appointment of Sen Wilkerson. Nice try though

  3. 25/7 says:

    Being a woman isn’t a qualification. I understand historical employment/political attainment for women wasn’t what it is today, but if there were 75% women making up the Senate would we celebrate men being appointed to even out the percentage?

  4. interesting says:

    great news

  5. Aware says:

    Congratulations to all senators, but most particularly to the females who, as is still the case for many leadership roles, need to push harder for the opportunity. It’s great to see Bermuda leading the way in cracking this glass ceiling. Well done ladies – you deserve it and are all great contributors whether Government, Opposition or Independent.

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Wonder what they all individually think of Mr. Bean’s remarks!