Created: Sep 22, 2022 10:30 AM
Tinee Furbert, Minister for Development and Seniors, holds a press conference on the expression of interest for the Gender Affairs Council (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Those interested in promoting gender equality in Bermuda can apply to serve on the new Gender Affairs Council.
Tinee Furbert, minister for social development and seniors, said council members will be tasked with finding ways to reduce domestic violence, where there has been a surge in reporting over the past four years.
The council will also try to raise wages for men – whose earnings have fallen by nearly 10% compared to women, Ms Furbert said.
“The Bermuda Labor Market Employment Report showed a widening gender pay gap. Median gross annual income in 2021 shows women earned $68,294 per year, up from $61,946 for men, which represents a wage difference of 9.7%,” Ms. Furbert said.
The minister credits the pay difference to the hard work of women’s liberation movements over the years. That being said, there is still a lot of work to do, as the needle has now tilted the other way.
“[The difference in pay] could also be related to employment or work opportunities that women and men now find as options,” she said.
He will also be asked to address issues facing Bermuda’s LGBTQ+ community, including the increase in the number of transgender people.
“Sexuality is a subject that will be included in the remit of the gender affairs council,” she said.
Ms Furbert said a minimum of seven people were needed to serve on the Council, adding: “Council members will identify, review and advise on the social, educational, economic and legislative factors that advance the best practiced principles of gender equality and equity in national programmes. and projects.
According to Ms. Furbert, this advice will be the key to a more progressive and fairer Bermuda.
Anyone from representatives of government agencies to those involved in the private sector and charities are welcome to apply to serve on the council, which is not the first of its kind in Bermuda.
“In 2008, approval was given for the creation of an equity council in Bermuda,” Ms. Furbert explained. “In 2010, the former Department of Social and Cultural Rehabilitation established a Women’s Council to focus on women’s issues in Bermuda under the former leadership of Hon. Neletha Butterfield.
Ms. Furbert also highlighted Bermuda’s recent partnership with the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework, the first such agreement between the two entities.
She said: “The first major project under this new commitment is a joint program, rebuild equal through innovative financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment; a $1 million investment in two countries, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
The deadline to complete an expression of interest form to serve on the board is October 7th. The form can be viewed and submitted online at forms.gov.bm