I am looking at you, and I see surgeons, barristers…


Let Girls Learn

“I see a roomful of business leaders and surgeons and barristers. I see women who are going to win elections, and science competitions, and arts awards. I see leaders who will inspire folks not just here in Tower Hamlets, but all across the country and all around the world,” – Michelle Obama at Mulberry School in tower Hamlets.

Suddenly there seems to be women everywhere. Women’s football on TV, Women’s rugby. More women presenters and announcers on the BBC. More features on women in main stream papers. Perhaps because the Guardian now has a woman editor. Sandi Toksvig full page article, on page three. There’s a difference!

Kirsty Walk often presents Newsnight, but how often would be interesting, mostly it’s the men. This week Julia Gillard is in town, promoting her book My Story. Prime Minister of Australia for 3 years

Perhaps Helena Morrissey kicked off the focus on women, two months ago, when she published research she had commissioned to examine women’s representation in the boardroom.

“Last year, because we felt there was a significant gap in the analysis, BNY Mellon Investment Management and Newton commissioned new research from University of Cambridge Judge Business School….to see if global variations in the rise of women to the boardroom could be explained by analyzing cultural, legislative, economic and political factors across a wide range of countries.

Importantly, this work was based on original data to ensure objectivity.

The study’s most striking finding is that female economic power (expected years of girls’ education and percentage of women participating in the labour force) is one of two factors having the greatest positive impact on both the percentage of women on boards and longevity. Empowering women outside the boardroom is key to getting women into the boardroom – and keeping them there. Maternity provisions and female political power reinforce this virtuous circle.” – Helena Morrissey in cityam.com 2015-04-09

Julia Gillard former Prime Minister of Australia. is to speak at the LSE, later, as part of their project Above the Parapet, women leaders, which commenced with Joyce Banda former President of Malawi.

Julia Gillard’s will always be remembered for her speech against misogyny which went viral, but here’s another thing she said about being first woman PM in Australia. “I am proud that it will be easier, for the next woman and the next woman.”

Let Girls Learn is Michelle Obama’s project for girls’ education.

“In so many ways,” she told the students, “your story is my story.”

Mrs Obama was to announce $180m (£115m) of funding from her Let Girls Learn initiative and from the British Government for the education of girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and girls access to education world wide. The British government is contributing, with the lion’s share from USA.

However, putting aside whether the funding will eventuate, his most important aspect of the launch, Let girls Learn, which Michelle Obama programmed before meeting Cameron, was her speech and meeting and greeting the girls. You can’t put a price on that kind of inspirational motivation. They felt valued. The girls interviewed on the news, said they wanted go into politics, and one wants to work for Liberty ultimately.

Then the news wagon rolled on, with only the Guardian and the Standard carrying Michelle Obama on the front pages.

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About the author

City Eye became interested in Overlooked and Overshadowed women, both in contemporary times and through out history. The former would include the women passed over for the Nobel in favour of their male colleagues. The later would be the wives of famous men, such as Mrs. Mandela. Her study of women written out of history, led her to interviews with interesting and inspirational women, (and some men). Extracts will be published in the articles. In no way is this men versus women, as to who is better. Simply that an overly macho, military, testosterone fueled environment, mainly men, needs the balancing attributes, often, though not exclusively, assigned to women: caring, conciliation, communication. Find out more: City Eye Blog ©christina ionthecity.wordpress.com

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