UK

Women's Hour Power List Puts Doreen Lawrence At Top, But Doesn't Have A Single Politician On It

09/04/2014 10:49 BST | Updated 09/04/2014 11:59 BST
PA

Perhaps tellingly, on the day the number of women in the cabinet dropped to a paltry three, not a single female politician of any colour made it on to the Women's Hour Power List.

The most powerful woman in the country was not elected, but an appointed Baroness, the fearless anti-racism campaign Doreen Lawrence.

Her son Stephen, an 18-year-old student, was stabbed to death by a group of up to six white youths in an unprovoked racist attack as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, with a friend on April 22 1993. It took more than 18 years to bring two of his killers to justice.

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary and last year's winner, said: "Faced by a terrible tragedy, she picked herself up and carried on fighting to ensure that justice could be done, and the fight still continues.

"What is most striking about this woman is the great strength that she has shown over decades - strength to carry on, to keep on going, even in the most difficult times when all seemed impossible.

"Also striking is the persistence that she has shown, because she has never given up. And finally, what is most impressive about this game-changer is that throughout it all, over the years, despite blow after blow, she has dealt with everything with absolute dignity."

The list of 10 women, described as "game-changers", was revealed in a special live programme and included individuals involved in issues including female genital mutilation, child poverty and internet safety.

Journalist Emma Barnett, who chaired the judging panel, said: "It was no easy feat to come up with just 10 women who have 'changed the game' - so we had to develop a thesis.

"The ambition for this year's list was to capture a snapshot of a moment in time - of those particular 'games' in 2014 that need changing and the women making a real difference in those fields.

"FGM is now taken seriously by politicians, while internet safety and child poverty are among the biggest problems society faces, and we have highlighted the women leading the charge to make sustainable changes in these areas and seven others."

Also on the panel were Liz Bingham, Managing Partner at Ernst & Young; Reni Eddo-Lodge, a writer and campaigner; Heather Rabbatts, non-executive director of the Football Association and Rachel Johnson, the journalist and author who edited The Lady from 2009 to 2011.

THE LIST IN FULL