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100 women honoured on International Women’s Day

Today was officially proclaimed the 100th International Women's Day - with 100 influential Bermudian women honoured at an opening ceremony.

More than 200 people packed the Bermuda National Gallery for the event, including many of the women being celebrated. Their names, which were put forward by the public and chosen by the Bermuda Women's Council, will also go on display at the Bermuda National Library for the rest of this month.

Premier Paula Cox and Community Development Minister Glenn Blakeney launched the International Women's Day proclamation.

Ms Cox also announced that Bermuda will soon ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women to Bermuda (CEDAW).

Guest speaker Roberta Clarke, regional director of the new United Nations Women's Caribbean Office, congratulated the Island, calling Bermuda “the only place in the Caribbean region that has had more than one female head”.

One of the women who could not attend today's ceremony was Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell, who retired in December from the US Air Force.

Said to be the first black woman to work aboard the US presidential aircraft, Air Force One, Sgt Joel joined the Air Force in 1982 at the age of 18, took on special assignments at Andrews Air Force Base in 1986, and has served as deputy flight attendant on Air Force One since 1992.

Speaking from her new home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Sgt Joell said: “It's exciting, a great honour to make the list. I'm just sad I couldn't make it there in person.”

She was born in Bermuda and lived here until age six.

“They were all memorable trips for different reasons. I've been around the world a couple of times, and been honoured to serve under the last four Presidents. I've flown with a lot of US and foreign dignitaries as well. I remember coming into Bermuda with President Bush Senior for the summit with (Soviet President) Gorbachev.”

International Women's Day in Bermuda continues with a public meeting at Wesley Methodist Church at 7pm.

Useful web link: www.internationalwomensday.com

One-hundred women were today honoured for being amongst the most influential in Bermuda.

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Published March 08, 2011 at 3:00 pm (Updated March 08, 2011 at 3:57 pm)

100 women honoured on International Women’s Day

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