Cherie Blair
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Wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, leading lawyer and committed campaigner for women's rights, Cherie set up the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in 2008 to help women build small and growing businesses in developing and emerging markets so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies.

Cherie studied law at the London School of Economics and was called to the Bar in 1976. She became a Queen's Counsel in 1995 and in 2000 co-founded Matrix Chambers from which she continues to practice as a barrister. Cherie currently also sits as a Recorder, as part-time judges are known, and is an accredited mediator. In 2007, she was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill medal "in recognition of her high ideals and courageous actions". Cherie also holds Honorary Degrees at the Open University and Liverpool Hope University.

As well as fighting for human rights in her professional career, Cherie is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues. In addition to founding her own charity, she remains closely involved with charities with a special emphasis on women and children. She is a member of the International Center for Research on Women's Leadership Council, Ambassador for the GSMA mWomen Programme, Honorary Vice President of Barnados, President of the Loomba Foundation, Ambassador for Scope, Trustee of Africa Justice Foundation and Patron of a number of charities, including Breast Cancer Care and SolarAid. Cherie is also Vice-Chair of the US Secretary of State's International Council for Women's Business Leadership and Honorary Chair of the World Justice Project.

Cherie was an Ambassador for London 2012, supporting the bid to host the Olympics in the UK and was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for services to women's issues and to charity in the UK and Overseas.


@CherieBlairFndn
www.cherieblairfoundation.org​

Entries by Cherie Blair

Five Things You Can Do to Make a Difference on International Women's Day

(21) Comments | Posted 7 March 2014 | (23:00)

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It's International Women's Day this week, and in the run-up I've been taking part in a number of discussions focusing on gender equality. There's so much work to be done to change the status quo, as there's not a single country...

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Reflections on Davos: It's Not Just Women Who Are Working Towards Gender Equality

(21) Comments | Posted 30 January 2014 | (10:05)

Last week, I attended my sixth Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland. I attended many of the sessions in and out of the forum and there was no shortage of women's faces. But appearances can be deceptive. Many women attending did so, not as delegates...

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Women in the Middle East - Beyond Education

(22) Comments | Posted 20 November 2013 | (23:00)

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I was in Dubai last week for an event on women's economic development in the Middle East. Hosted by my Foundation with the support of JP Morgan, we brought together representatives from the IFC, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the...

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Networking Their Way to Success: Gladys, Humu and Frederica in Sierra Leone

(21) Comments | Posted 2 September 2013 | (00:00)

Sitting on the rooftop of Gladys's juice bar in Freetown, I was having an informal chat with some of the women my foundation supports. This wasn't my first trip to Sierra Leone. I was there for International Women's Day in March and had spoken then to some of the women....

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The Latest Tool for Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania

(19) Comments | Posted 1 July 2013 | (00:00)

Mama Muze, a widow in Dar es Salaam, has always had an interest in producing her own food products. After retiring as a banker, she set up her own food processing business, making chilli sauce and packaging it in jars with her own personalised labels. The primary challenge she faces...

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Barnardo's Calls for Change to Sentencing Guidelines in Child Sexual Exploitation Cases

(35) Comments | Posted 10 March 2013 | (23:00)

Child sexual exploitation is an appalling crime that devastates lives, and the legal system in this country has a crucial role in protecting children from such abuse by bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The legal process can also be important in helping victims of child sexual exploitation to recover from...

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How Rose Heilbron Inspired Me and a Generation of Women

(29) Comments | Posted 26 February 2013 | (23:00)

As a child growing up in my grandmother's house in Liverpool, there was one name that always made my grandmother excited: Rose Heilbron. Rose was an advocate, and when she was arguing a case before a jury at the Liverpool Assizes my grandmother would follow her cases avidly, sometimes even...

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Make a Change Through Mentoring

(31) Comments | Posted 3 February 2013 | (23:00)

Back in the 70s, when I was looking for my first job in the law, it was hard to be taken seriously as a woman lawyer. It was commonplace for women candidates to be told, "we don't take women" or "we've already got a woman", comments that would be unthinkable...

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The Next Mobile Revolution: Boosting Women's Entrepreneurship Via Mobile Money

(6) Comments | Posted 18 December 2012 | (11:25)

For Marion, the challenge of starting her own business was not lack of initiative - she had plenty - but rather dearth of start-up capital. At 20 years old, Marion dropped out of school because she didn't have sufficient school fees. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she lives, this...

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The Mobile Phone as an Important Tool for Women Entrepreneurs in India

(15) Comments | Posted 2 December 2012 | (23:00)

The beauty of modern technology is that it has vastly speeded up communication and the transmission of information, helping businesses to become more efficient and productive. But this acceleration poses a real challenge for many small business owners who can get left behind if they aren't "up to speed". It's...

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Putting the Rule of Law Behind Women's Rights

(58) Comments | Posted 25 November 2012 | (23:00)

All over the world, the infrastructure of justice is failing women. In some cases, it is the laws themselves that legitimise discrimination - whether on property rights, freedom of movement or women's control over their own bodies. In many more societies, however, the problems stem from a justice system which...

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The Women's Prize for Fiction

(31) Comments | Posted 15 October 2012 | (00:00)

I was an early reader and by the age of 10 I had read every book in my local children's lending library in Liverpool, and was given a special dispensation by the head librarian to gain entry to the adult library.

That love of books has stayed with me and...

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We Can't Afford to Ignore Half the Population

(135) Comments | Posted 27 September 2012 | (09:08)

Writing from New York where I have been lucky enough to attend both the UN General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, I have been struck by the mainstreaming of issues relating to women and girls at both events.

I have been fortunate enough to work with the Clinton...

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Behind Every Successful Man is a Woman? Let's Reverse That Saying

(184) Comments | Posted 7 March 2012 | (23:00)

It used to be said that behind every successful man was a woman. They meant, of course, a wife. It was a clumsy way of recognising women's contribution within marriage and the part this sacrifice played in helping husbands advance in their careers.

But as we celebrate International Women's Day,...

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Why Women Should Become Mentors

(81) Comments | Posted 23 January 2012 | (23:00)

It's over 100 years since the women's rights movement was born, but some predict it will be another 100 years before women executives in the UK finally achieve equal pay.

The UK of course is not the only country where this problem still exists. A sizeable pay gap between...

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