Maiden speech MP pledges to promote women and seniors
A Progressive Labour Party backbencher championed women and seniors in her maiden speech in the House of Assembly.
Ianthia Simmons-Wade, the MP for Warwick North East, said she was speaking not only in her political role but as her role as a “black single mother with the wisdom of age”.
She added: “I am in this house committed to serve the people of Bermuda.
“My message today is about empowerment, responsibility and involvement.
“On the heels of International Women’s Day, I take this opportunity to speak on the roles of women.
“Throughout our history women have played a central role to ensure stability, progress and the long-term development of our island.”
Ms Simmons-Wade, the widow of former PLP leader Frederick Wade, said at Wednesday’s sitting of the House that women’s central and most significant role was as mothers.
She added her “official political journey” started at the age of 64 when, in 2009, David Burt invited her to join his Senate team.
She highlighted the role of Bermuda’s seniors, who are predicted to represent 33 per cent of the population by 2039.
Ms Simmons-Wade said: “The importance of promoting healthy ageing is critical. I will empower them as they provided the foundation for our island.
“The creation of the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors demonstrates our government’s commitment to responding to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population.”
Ms Simmons-Wade added: “I want to be remembered for leaving Bermuda a better place than I found it – investing in people and encouraging them to pass on what they have learnt from me to other people, service, empowerment and working to improve the quality of life for all Bermudians.
“My legacy will not be leaving something for people, but leaving something in people.”