Laurie Shiell, Chairwoman for the Bermuda Women’s Council *File photo
Laurie Shiell, Chairwoman for the Bermuda Women’s Council *File photo

Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women.

Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. Women's equality has made positive gains, but the world is still unequal. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

Locally Bermuda is commemorating International Women’s Day through highlighting the Community Driven Development (CDD) Programme. This CDD Programme was launched in 2013 in commemoration of International Women’s Day by the Department of Human Affairs under the auspices of the Bermuda Women’s Council and has inspired change in a group of women who are unemployed or underemployed.

CDD is a new approach to doing business in Bermuda.   People are given control of their destiny and the chance to create new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. This programme offers the re-tooling requirements necessary for starting, maintaining and growing a business, and working towards the common goals of possessing financial freedom and developing a sense of self worth.

ACE Bermuda has partnered with the CDD programme by providing training space, and the ACE Women’s Forum Bermuda give their time, talent, and business expertise to present several workshops on topics such as strategic planning, customer service training, interview and resume writing skills, project management, communications, personal leadership, and nutrition and health. They too have inspired change in the CDD participants.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports, the Department of Human Affairs and the Bermuda Women’s Council  salute the CDD women. Minister of Community, Culture & Sports, The Hon. R. Wayne Scott, JP, MP said, “The women who are participants of CDD embody the very spirit of this year’s theme - Inspiring Change. The participants have been courageous and more than willing to make the changes in their lives. I am inspired on every occasion I talk with the women of CDD.  I have witnessed the positive changes and I am proud our Ministry is part of the programme. CDD is just one of the steps toward the road to social recovery in Bermuda.”

Laurie Shiell, Chairwoman for the Bermuda Women’s Council commented, “We are excited to present to you the CDD programme on International Women’s Day 2014. The entire vision of the CDD programme is to inspire change – by providing resources that will educate, broaden mindsets, remove personal and professional barriers, and ignite hope for a better tomorrow for self, family, community and country. We are passionate about the potential of this programme and are delighted at the successes that we have seen to date. We are eager to see what strides we make in the future, and we hope that you will join us in inspiring change through the CDD programme.”