Women on a mission to lift girls’ self-esteem

  • Women’s Resource Centre executive director Elaine Butterfield (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • Women’s Resource Centre programme co-ordinator Denae Burchall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Women’s Resource Centre is on a mission to help women and girls develop self-esteem.

The charity will host workshops on self-image as part of its drive to become a one-stop shop for women’s services under the leadership of Elaine Butterfield, who has returned as executive director.

Ms Butterfield said: “Some of our signature workshops will include what we have found to be a root cause of why women don’t succeed in certain areas of their life and that is self-esteem.

“So we will be providing self-esteem boot camps for women and for girls.”

Programme co-ordinator Denae Burchall will run one of the workshops, which she said would give girls between the ages of 12 and 16 techniques to foster healthy self-images.

She said: “We will be talking about things like body image, values, building trust and just getting them to start thinking about their future self and who they want to be and their self-identity.”

Ms Butterfield said the WRC realised this was needed from the charity’s counselling work and support services.

Ms Burchall added that self-esteem was also highlighted as one of the issues faced by young women by a focus group of 25 high school pupils, which included Youth Parliament members.

“A lot of them said the base issue is their self-esteem, which obviously affects how they portray themselves and how they allow others to treat them.”

Ms Butterfield, who pointed out that women can develop low self-esteem at any point in life, said the WRC planned to offer the workshops every three months.

She explained that other workshops would focus on financial skills, investments and work-life balance.

Ms Butterfield said the programmes were part of a bid by the charity to reinvent itself with more emphasis on awareness and education.

She added: “The world has changed. The socio-economic condition in Bermuda has changed.

“The needs are greater and yet different for women and their families and so we have, as an organisation, decided to change accordingly.”

Ms Butterfield said: “The next generation model will be a ‘One Stop’ networking team of services for women and their families, all under one roof.

“The vision of WRC is to be the leading resource and voice for women in Bermuda and for Bermuda to be a community free of inequality and sexism, where women are emotionally and physically healthy, safe, confident and able to realise their potential.”

Ms Butterfield said the organisation, which has had no executive director for about two years, had assessed its programmes based on client, staff and community views.

She added: “We’ve kept some of the things that we think work. We’ve let go of some of the things we think no longer work and we’ve embraced some new initiatives.”

Ms Butterfield said they hoped to increase the capacity of their counselling services while also “really focusing our intentions on awareness and education and advocacy”.

She explained that the WRC was partnering with other organisations that offer services to women and their families to provide and fight for effective resources.

The WRC is also planning a presentation on immigration policies and women and other panel discussions to highlight women’s issues.

Group sessions will be held for adult survivors of sexual abuse with charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets and other groups will focus on healthy relationships and life after prison.

Ms Butterfield added: “One of our major awareness sessions will be on identity, power and privilege, exploring what the dynamics of identity, power and privilege are relating to gender.

“It is an awareness session that explores all of the things that things like the #MeToo movement explore.”

For more information about upcoming events, visit, call 295-3882 or e-mail