News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – As we celebrate International Women’s Day we need to express to Bermuda how important women are to our country and our Party.

We’ve been truly blessed to have had three women as Leaders of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party; National Hero, political and legal trailblazer Dame Lois Browne-Evans, the first elected female Premier of Bermuda Dame Jennifer Smith, and Bermuda’s first female Finance Minister, Premier Paula Cox.

Also, let us not forget Sister Dorothy Thompson and Dr. Barbara Ball who stood against racism, segregation and the ill treatment of workers all while diversifying our Party and combating the notion that white people would never support the PLP.

For me, after being a member and supporter for most of my life, it has been a tremendous honour to have been elected as the first female Chair of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party.

The list of those who have served our country and our Party is a lengthy one, filled with excellence, sacrifice and service.

From the start of the PLP, we’ve shown an interest and a commitment to creating opportunities for our female members to be heard, be valued, and lead on the political Frontlines as well as behind the scenes. From leadership at the grassroots level, within the Party Executive, our Central Committee representatives, and Party Delegates, our Party would be far weaker, far less effective without the outstanding contributions of our women members.

Whether leading from the front or pushing for change from within the Party, the contributions of our women have led to progressive policy initiatives that have helped to make Bermuda a better, fairer, and more inclusive country.

For our mothers, we’ve:

* Expanded maternity leave allowing mothers to spend more time with their newborn children, while introducing Paternity Leave to enable fathers to support mothers and bond with their child.

* Expanded access to affordable childcare by broadening eligibility for the Child Daycare Allowance.

* Modernized Financial Assistance allows more Bermudian families to get the temporary assistance they need to get back on their feet. The Women in our community have also benefitted from the PLP by:

* Preserving their access to mammograms * Introducing Laws to outlaw and punish those who would make or spread Revenge Porn * Introducing No-Fault Divorces to reduce conflict and public embarrassment around divorce.

* Being the first Bermuda Government to notify the public when sex offenders have completed their sentences and are being released back into the community.

* Strengthening our laws to protect our children from sexual exploitation and abuse with tougher penalties for offenders.

On this International Women’s Day, 2024 we are proud to join our voices to the cavalcade of voices across the globe celebrating our women and emphasizing the importance of investing in their success, support, and safety.

Bermuda is a better place when our women are engaged, active and involved in politics and the shaping of our island’s laws and policies. As our mothers, daughters, and sisters, your voice matters, your ideas have value and you can create a positive impact throughout Bermuda.

J Dawn Simmons, JP – Party Chairman