March 2018

International Women’s Day

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy’ … A man said that to me once.

I made reference to it in my speech to hugely successful businesswoman from Tel Aviv who were visiting London, 10 Downing Street and Mischon de Reya through an invitation arranged via the Department of International Trade in celebration of International Woman’s Day. 109 years ago, women did not have a voice, the right to vote, the right of safety and much worse from their husband who was legally permitted to beat or assault his wife until laws were.

International Woman’s Day (IWD) first began on Sunday March 9th 1909 when a group of woman fought back against the lack of rights and respect they held as citizens, daughters and wives, they campaigned for recognition, equality and fairness!

It took nine years of campaigning for women to simply win the right to vote which was finally made law in the UK in 1918. Every year numerous areas of fairness have been and will continue to be recognised. Changes have occurred as a consequence, ones that my daughter and many others can take for granted. The presence of female MPs and cabinet ministers has at least tripled between 1994 and 2014 – yet this number still remains low at only 20% compared to men which means that in 2018, men are still the overarching majority with 80% representation. Only 55 of the 500 richest people in the world are women. As Mohammed Bin Salmon, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia makes his first official visit to the UK to promote his agenda of change – to much controversy; my thoughts go back to the fact that women in Saudi Arabia were only given equal employment rights as men last year.

Much progress has happened in society; the law has been rightly changed to protect and address fairness & equality many in all areas such as race, age, employment, sexual orientation and frankly basic human rights. We have got this far but omitted fairness for woman in pay for an equal job to men (although the gender pay gap is currently under review by government which will soon be addressing this legislation to ensure that woman receive the same pay for the same job as men.

What is necessary to address however, is the abuse of power in society, particularly in local government, governments in general (certainly in the UK and in USA) where strongholds of corruption are being exposed and addressed.

In this age of the speed and technology around us, we can uncover criminal conduct through the internet regardless of computer systems, we get entire emails directly from the airwaves through AOL and Google. We can uncover much from covert operations and we can bring down criminals from local council to government across judiciary local magistrates and circuit judges, councils, professionals such as accountants, solicitors for example and anyone who is involved in criminal activity is now more likely to be brought to account than ever before.

This year as I do every year, I spoke to business women on IWD. In the morning they visited 10 Downing Street and then for lunch visited the offices of Mischon de Reya. Lord Mischon has much in common with government in bringing about change in minorities and abuse. A campaigner for changing an injustice and recognised in the industry for being so. I learned much about his work in bringing about peace for Israel in his private diplomatic negotiations and am proud to be connected with the man behind the scenes in diplomacy.

As the Founder and former President of SBID, I launched the intellectual property protection campaign at the House of Commons. It is linked with criminality and covert operations. The government have allocated some eight million pounds to the interior design sector and we are working hard at uncovering the criminal conduct that prevents designers being paid, that helps clients walk away and not pay, as well as the criminal conduct that is below the surface from cash transactions that are involved. The money generated through counterfeit goods that trade in a black market are a real threat to all sectors of society. We intend to uncover where cash businesses and those empowered to uncover or protect the vulnerable have abused or bend the system for personal financial gain or even just in a small cliques. This conduct prevents a fair playing field and so we must work together to break down the system of in-house corruption. Arm wrestling the establishment to the ground to weasel out the few will enable a transparent and great system to flourish. Women have a key role to play in bringing about that change in society.

I am proud to be a small part of that change so that my daughter doesn’t not face the system abuse that I had once faced as a young woman in business and employment. I did not think of it as abuse it was regarded as a way of life in those days. As I grew older it became a mission and now I have every intention to bring down the men in powerful positions that currently abuse those unable to defend themselves. Fortunately, this time in my life, I have the support to do so.