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from The Great Debate UK:

Time to break the silence on injustices against women

gisellportenier- Giselle Portenier is an  award-winning documentary filmmaker who focuses on human rights abuses around the world and a member of the Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival committee. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.-

Soon it will be that famous Ladies’ Day again, International Women’s Day, when the Western press packs their pages with stories—and it’s already started-- either celebrating all we have achieved, or lamenting all that still eludes us—equal pay for work of equal value, glass ceilings, balancing work and family life, domestic violence, and so on.

And while these stories are worthwhile, as we head into the hundredth year celebrating International Women’s Day, the time has come to slow down this navel-gazing, change this narrow focus, and come to the aid of millions of women worldwide.

The time has come to break the silence, in a big, real, systematic and very public way, on all the human rights abuses endured by girls and women in the developing world in the name of culture and religion.

from The Great Debate UK:

London 2012 – a chance to nurture strong female role models

tessa-- Tessa Jowell is Britain's Minister for the Olympics and London and has held a variety of senior government posts. She has direct responsibility for delivery of the government's Olympic programme. Jowell has been a member of parliament for the Labour Party since 1992. The views expressed are her own. --

In 1896 a Greek woman called Stamata Revithi decided to run the inaugural modern day Olympic Marathon in Greece. Arriving in the Village of Marathon she was told by officials that she was not allowed to compete in the race the next day as the entry deadline had expired.

from The Great Debate UK:

International Women’s Day – a chance to bring about positive change

-- Ellie Bird is a Detective Superintendent with British Transport Police and Vice President of the British Association for Women in Policing. Throughout her 26 years service Ellie has worked in uniform, detective and headquarters roles, including as Operations Superintendent on London Underground with responsibility for policing major events such as the Tour de France and command for major incidents. Ellie has experience in policing child abuse and domestic violence investigations as well as public protection and serious crime. The opinions expressed are her own. --


As I read the newspaper today, I am reminded of the fact that thousands of women burn to death every year in domestic violence

from The Great Debate UK:

Women firefighters are no longer a novelty

firefighter- During Dany Cotton's 20 years with the London Fire Brigade she has risen through the ranks to become a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, and is the highest ranking operational woman firefighter in the UK. She was also the first woman firefighter in Britain to be awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal. The opinions expressed are her own. -

International Women's Day on March 8, is significant for me as it's a reminder how far women have come in all industries, but particularly my own.