Cherie Blair, The Guardian, 13 April 2012
We need to recognise the power of women as drivers of business, so helping countries to move away from poverty alleviation towards economic development.
I was heartened to read (David Cameron to chair UN committee overseeing development goals, 12 April) that this government wants to make economic development one of the new UN development goals from 2015, when the current ones expire. As he takes up his post, I hope David Cameron will focus special attention on the enormous contribution that women can make to the achievement of that new goal. Of course, we mustn't lose sight of other goals, such as education, that remain of vital importance, particularly for women, but they're not enough on their own.
Even when women in the developing world defeat the odds and reach degree level in education, they still find themselves marginalised in the world of work, with all their talent and potential to help drive their economies under-utilised and even wasted. Women are more likely, as studies show, to invest their incomes into their families and communities, so women who earn their own money can be a long-term answer to problems such as lack of education. Women who are in business, who are financially independent, are more likely to ensure their children, both girls and boys, are enrolled in school, are inoculated and that the family gets food on the table.
It's the key to higher living standards and stronger economies, and the rationale behind the CB Foundation for Women. By providing women with the skills, knowledge and access to networks, finances and resources, it's possible for local and regional economies to develop and prosper on their own. We need to recognise the power of women as drivers of business, so helping countries to move away from poverty alleviation towards economic development.
CB Foundation for Women