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We need more women in Parliament. A speech by Catherine Kempe

By September 9, 2020No Comments

Thank you, Mr. Cannonier, for those kind for giving me the opportunity to represent the people of Constituency 14, Devonshire North West.

Good day Bermuda and good day, members of the media.

I am running for the House of Assembly for constituency 14 to work on increasing women’s presence in politics.

As I said in my recent article, the Covid-19 health crisis has shown that 19 of the top 20 countries which have done the best have been led by women.

It is time for women to have a larger presence in the running of our Government. We will do better.

Many will say that the Premier did well through the pandemic, however it was the professional – and inspiring – women behind him that allowed our country to do as well as it did.

Dr. Cheryl Peek-Ball, Dr. Fiona Ross (the Head of the Bermuda Health Council) and Dr. Carika Weldon were instrumental in putting in place the policies and procedures that helped protect us.

It is a testament to the strength of female leadership that Bermuda did as well it has.

While I highlight those three superwomen, I am not forgetting the everyday woman.

During lockdown, it was those women who suddenly had to make sure that her children could continue schooling from home.

They cooked, they did their ‘day job’ – they multitasked while still experiencing the stress of a pandemic and a crisis for jobs in Bermuda.

Maybe I should be referring to them as wonder women.

I am a mother of two primary school boys, and I faced the sudden shift to working from home while ensuring that my children were doing their schoolwork.

It was a steep learning curve that I and other women had to master quickly. But we rose to the challenge.

We are natural do-ers, leaders, organisers.

We can no longer sit on the sidelines and allow some men of the House of Assembly to make public derogatory comments about women as so-called jokes.

They may have seemed in jest to some but were derogatory to all women.

I can no longer sit on the sidelines while misogynistic comments are being made about women, perpetuating the culture of toxic masculinity within our government and society.

We cannot expect the men that make these comments to be able to truly fight for us and believe in our rights.

Women represent 52% of the population but we do not enjoy anywhere near the same level of representation in the House.

We need to continue the struggle to make sure that we are strongly represented in our communities, our society and our government because we will do better.