Cherie Blair
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. 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.

Entries by Cherie Blair

The UK Modern Slavery Act: The Bottom Line for Business

(2) Comments | Posted 18 June 2016 | (00:00)

Five years ago on 16 June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, articulating the roles of States and businesses in preventing and remedying corporate abuses.

Today, there is a widespread and growing recognition of the commercial, legal and moral...

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Catalysing Growth for Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs

(4) Comments | Posted 7 March 2016 | (23:00)

all women everywhere


Udoka has grand ambitions for her Lagos-based skin care company. By 2021, she wants her customer base to cover the whole of Nigeria. Demand for her products is already high, but to realise...

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When It Comes to Gender Parity, We're Only Halfway There

(4) Comments | Posted 2 December 2015 | (09:14)


What is power and where does it reside?

In today's world, power lies in our political systems and our economies. These two institutions, broadly speaking, control the way we live our lives. They carry huge implications for our freedoms, our human rights and...

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Celebrating the Power of Mentoring on Women's Entrepreneurship Day

(0) Comments | Posted 18 November 2015 | (23:00)


By Cherie Blair CBE, QC, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America

Onty Mogofu says she was "born with an entrepreneurial spirit." As a young girl in Botswana, she started plaiting the hair of the women...

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Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and Business: A Shared Responsibility

(3) Comments | Posted 25 September 2015 | (10:54)


The last months of the year seem set to be defined by growing uncertainty. Concerns over continued economic vulnerability have been compounded by the refugee crisis spreading across the Middle East and Europe. Our governments and legal frameworks are facing unprecedented challenges -...

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Three Changes That Will Help 'Make It Happen' This International Women's Day

(18) Comments | Posted 7 March 2015 | (23:00)


I firmly believe that women possess a wonderful ability to get things done, which is why the theme of this year's International Women's Day - 'Make It Happen' - feels so fitting.

I set up my Foundation for women in...

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Women May Be Under-represented at Davos but Theirs Are the Loudest Voices When It Comes to Calling for Gender Equality

(5) Comments | Posted 28 January 2015 | (23:00)

Last week I joined the annual gathering of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. I was encouraged to see that social inclusion and gender equality were high on the agenda at this year's event, despite the fact that the level of female participation...

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Mobile Technology Overcomes Barriers to Financial Inclusion for Women

(5) Comments | Posted 25 September 2014 | (00:00)

This week more than 1,000 leaders across industry, government and academia have come together at Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to discuss new approaches to address complex global challenges. My passion is empowering women around the world and this includes access to financial services, a challenge that continues to...

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

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


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

(20) 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)


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

(18) 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

(33) 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

(56) 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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