Girls celebrate empowerment

  • The Bermuda Police Service highlighted the winners of the International Women’s Day essay competition. Front, from left: Kimora Waddell-Smith, Marley Brown and Alexis Lodge. Back, front left: Amirh Wade and Aaliyah Lee (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Women should be celebrated for their ability to shatter the glass ceiling, the winners of a police-sponsored essay contest said.

Five schoolgirls who won a Bermuda Police Service’s contest for their work on what women’s empowerment meant to them were presented with their awards at Hamilton Police Station on International Women’s Day.

The BPS’s highest ranking woman officer, Superintendent Na’imah Astwood, said: “We asked young women to submit an essay to say what women empowerment means to them.

“I was absolutely blown away by the level of creativity, the insight and the knowledge that they have at that age.

“They were able to see what we do behind the scene at the BPS to set policy, to set strategies and to make sure that our communities are safe.”

Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, said: “BPS reflects societies in Bermuda and it is vitally important that we inform young women that they have opportunities, they can make a difference, they can go to the top and bring great influence on the direction Bermuda goes.”

Mr Corbishley joked that all the girls should fill out a police application form.

Aaliyah Lee, 16, a Berkeley Institute pupil, said: “For me, women’s empowerment means shattering the glass ceiling that has been placed over women for years. It also means fighting for gender equality.”

Alexis Lodge, 15, a Bermuda High School pupil, added: “To me, female empowerment means women rising up, taking power and showing that they can be equal to men. I believe that your sex should not define your ability and position in the world.”

Marley Brown, 12, a Bermuda Institute pupil, said: “Women are unique, confident, strong and brilliant.”

Kimora Waddell-Smith, 12, of Clearwater Middle School, added: “I believe that women empowerment is being equal and being powerful and believing that you can achieve anything, no matter what.”

Amirh Wade, 17, a Berkeley Institute pupil, said: “Women empowerment to me is women recognising women’s strengths in what is mostly known as a man’s world and knowing that even though these are bad things, you can be more than just somebody’s mother and/or maid.”

The other prize winners, Emilia Stowe, of the Berkeley Institute, McKenzie-Kohl Tuckett, of Warwick Academy; and Katarina Rance, of Bermuda High School, were not at the presentation.

To read the eight winning essays, click on the PDF under “Related Media”