Valerie speaks on International Women’s Day

On Thursday 8 March 2012, Valerie spoke during a Commons debate marking International Women’s Day 2012.


Valerie said:


“We are holding this debate today to praise and celebrate good women—not only those who are well known, but those who are unknown, such as the single mothers who bring up children against all the odds, and who through no fault of their own must hold two important jobs: as main earners and as home workers keeping a household together. They are an inspiration, just like Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under arrest in Burma. We must keep raising her case to ensure that whatever happens to her in the elections, she is there to ensure change in Burma.


“We need to do more to ensure economic justice for women because women’s unemployment is at its highest since 1988 at 1.1 million.  We must follow Sweden and Norway by getting more women on to boards; the Cranfield institute of management found that 89% of the FTSE 350 companies have no women executives. Widening the pool of talent from which to draw is an engine for growth that will benefit this country.


“There is more to do for women in science. As someone who did a science degree, I am concerned because only 5.3%, or one in 20, of all working women are employed in science, engineering and technology compared with 31.3% of all working men.


“Not for nothing are the scales of justice held by a woman. It is our right to be treated as equal and to ensure that the next generation continues to make strides in equality. It is not only our right, but our duty, to get justice and equality for the next generation.”


You can read Valerie’s speech in full by clicking here.