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Ten-member Gender Affairs Council created

Promoting equality: Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, centre, with Lucie Fremlova, left, and Laurie Shiell of the Gender Affairs Council Photograph supplied)

The members of a new body set up to address disparities and discrimination between the sexes have been announced.

The ten-member Gender Affairs Council is charged with identifying, and advising the Government on the social, educational, economic, and legislative factors to advance best practice principles of gender equality and equity.

At a press conference today, Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said that her ministry received an overwhelmingly positive response from residents wanting to sit on the council after it was reinstated last September.

Ms Furbert said: “While I could not select all applicants, this process has reassured me that the Gender Affairs Council alongside people in our community, will continue to strive forward in addressing gender affairs.

“The Gender Affairs Council comprises ten members and represents a diverse cross-section of our community who represent Government agencies; non-profit and civil society organisations; and entrepreneurs.”

Ms Furbert said that the council will be meeting weekly over the next three months to develop a Terms of Reference framework.

It has also been tasked with ensuring that Bermuda remains compliant with the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women – an international bill of rights that defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end gender discrimination.

Ms Furbert added: “Additionally, the United Nations supports the concept that the basic moral and strategic imperative of a gender council is to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, can realise their full potential.

“Therefore the Gender Affairs Council will incorporate this philosophical shift so that individuals in Bermuda’s community will reap the gender benefits that are universal, inclusive and sustainable.

“With the reinstatement of the Council in September 2022, the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors launched an Expression of Interest for members of the public to submit applications to serve on the Gender Affairs Council.

“Despite not garnering many applications from males at the time of the request, the Ministry received an overwhelmingly positive response, with all applicants having extensive experience and knowledge.”

Laurie Shiell, the executive director of the Centre Against Abuse will serve as the council’s chairperson, and Lucie Fremlova, an academic working in the field of human rights, will be the council’s deputy chairperson.

The remaining eight members of the council are Arianna Hodgson, Tina Laws, Emma Leitch, Whitnii Levon, Jessica Steede, Calvin Stovell, Tierrai Tull, and Ashun Wolffe

Ms Furbert said: “With the diversity of academic and professional backgrounds held by the members, I believe the council will collectively bring a depth of knowledge, skills, and experience relevant to gender issues in Bermuda.”

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Published January 16, 2023 at 7:45 am (Updated January 16, 2023 at 10:40 am)

Ten-member Gender Affairs Council created

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