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Charity says Gender Affairs Council will ‘transform lives’

Financial assistance: Laurie Shiell-Smith, executive director of Centre Against Abuse (File Photograph)

The creation of a gender affairs council after nearly a decade of lobbying has been applauded by the Centre Against Abuse.

The move will “transform lives in Bermuda”, according to Laurie Shiell, executive director of the centre.

The council, to have at least seven members, was announced on September 21 by Tinée Furbert, the Minister for Social Development and Seniors.

The council’s remit includes domestic violence, income inequality and sexual orientation.

Ms Shiell said the ministry had “listened to our requests, reviewed our research and supported our petition”.

She added that talks on making gender affairs a government directive dated back to 2011 under former Director of the Department of Human Affairs Deborah Blakeney and policy analyst Jane Brett, who provided the “foundation” for the creation of the council.

“This announcement provides an excellent launch for Domestic Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month held globally in October,” Ms Shiell said.

She noted this month also marked the 40-year anniversary of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which Bermuda joined in 2017.

Ms Shiell said the centre hoped to see the council oversee and ensure compliance with CEDAW in Bermuda, and promote gender equality – which is a United Nations sustainable development goal.

She said gender justice should include adult male and female victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

She added: “CAA is excited and eager to work with and support the Gender Affairs Council to establish a Bermuda that has gender parity.”

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Published October 07, 2022 at 4:34 am (Updated October 07, 2022 at 4:34 am)

Charity says Gender Affairs Council will ‘transform lives’

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