Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal, PC, QC is a British barrister and jurist who has held many ministerial positions within the UK Government; such as the Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland.
On 27th November 2015 at the Commonwealth summit in Malta, she was elected Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Her greatest passion has always been to make people’s everyday lives better. She wants to ‘deliver real, tangible change. Politics is about real lives…everything you do has an impact.’
Speaking about her life she says, “I’ve been dedicated for three decades to fighting Domestic Violence, a scourge of countless women’s lives as well as a huge drag on national economies. In government, we reduced Domestic Violence in the UK by 64% over five years, creating real world solutions and actions.”
Baroness Scotland recently spoke at the opening of the Women of the World festival weekend, now in its sixth year, and City Eye was there to witness it.
Opening the festival she said, “I am often spoken of as a role model. I was thinking I’m not a role model; I’m just trying to get on and do the best I can. Absolutely every one of us is a role model to someone else. The world quite often wants us to be victims and wants us to be powerless. Then I remember Rosa Parks, a seamstress living in the Southern states of America, who was seen as poor and disempowered.
Everyone remembers that Martin Luther King marched, but he marched with Rosa Parks and she walked for 18 months and the rest of the world walked with her.”
“Never tell the pup you are being sold, that you are powerless.”
“You are an exemplar and a role model. It is really important to understand that you have as much power as you chose to take. We all have as much power as we chose to take.”
“We are reaching that point of critical mass. Critical mass was what I achieved with other women politicians. If you look at the time when the Labour government was in, we had critical mass. I was able to achieve that work on domestic violence, because there were so many other women working with me, but we had the support of women in other parties. When I was in the Foreign Office, we did forced marriage, we did international child abduction. These were the issues we could come together and make ourselves heard, because we could all work together.”
“It is really important that we take all the feminists with us, female and male, and we all understand that equality is a real issue.”
“When we have moments of leadership, we don’t just grab it for ourselves, we grab it for every single woman. No matter what colour the government is, the baton must get handed on.”
“These issues will continue to be championed by all of us. This is the message we need to have. Go out there, join parties and give them hell. It will take all of us.”
“As Secretary General I want to create a women’s leaders’ caucus, I want to have a centre of excellence. To have a summit where the women will speak. I want to know what the women of the Commonwealth want to achieve in the next 4 years.”
“The President of Malta, here today has already committed that she will be one of the champions with me.”
“Today we came to WOW. At the end of this day, what are the three things that we are going to do, each of us personally to make this happen. If you are a real women you won’t just do three, you will do 20 and leave the men to do three.”
“We all have as much power as we chose to take. What three things will you do?”