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Working with and for women

Women are the bedrock of our Bermudian society. Whether on the doorstep when we canvass or move about the community, we have heard about your struggles, listened to your ideas on how some challenges may be overcome, and are committed to making your lives better in real and tangible ways.

Lauren Hayward-Bell is the deputy chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party

We recognise in these challenging times that our women have been among the hardest-hit in the economic aftermath of a global pandemic and skyrocketing global inflation.

Many of you told us that you want to be able to do for yourselves, start or grow your businesses, and provide jobs, opportunities and services to our community. And we listened. We understand that greater financial inclusion for women means they will be able to economically empower themselves, create new businesses and services, and enable them to better make ends meet and potentially even grow multigenerational wealth.

That is why as your government, we were so glad to announce our agreement last week between the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors, and the United Nations’ Multi-country Sustainable Development Co-operation Framework. This partnership, the first of its kind in Bermuda, will directly benefit our island’s women via its “Building Back Equal Through Innovative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” initiative.

Directed by the UN’s Women and UN Development Programme, and funded by the UN Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund, this initiative involves working with stakeholders to benefit women within the Blue (marine), Green (environmental/agricultural) and Orange (cultural/artistic) Economies. We will also provide access to this programme to our youth and people with physical disabilities.

This means:

• Bermudian female entrepreneurs will gain access to more financing, tools and support to overcome the risk and institutional impediments that have historically impeded their entrepreneurial success

• The creation and growth of new women-led businesses in the marine, environmental/agricultural, and Bermudian cultural industries

• The showcasing of innovative financing vehicles and digital platforms reduces the financing gaps and institutional impediments that disadvantaged groups face

The Government will also be working with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, FinDev Canada, Portland Private Equity, and stakeholders from the academic, tourism, agricultural and creative industries to help make this initiative effective and successful.

Your government is listening and understanding the struggle many of us face in these difficult times. That is why we have frozen petrol prices and eliminated duty on staple food items to help reduce the pain of global inflation on our economy and the shrinking buying power of our families.

This initiative is just one of many that we will be announcing that are designed to help our people and make Bermuda a better, fairer place for all.

Lauren Hayward-Bell is the deputy chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party

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Published July 12, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated July 12, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Working with and for women

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