THE BLOG

David Cameron Invites Inspirational Women to Help Him Get a Job Done

10/03/2014 11:23 GMT | Updated 07/05/2014 10:59 BST

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Copyright Jasmine Dotiwala.

The most famous front door in the world has got to be the UK Prime Ministers abode. That huge black door, with the policeman standing guard sullenly outside, is recognised globally.

We have watched countless chancellors hold up their briefcases outside No.11 on budget day, we clamor to see world leaders and celebs wave at paparazzi across the street as they enter No.10 where every one of Britain's political leaders has resided.

Years ago, I watched excitedly as politics and showbiz collided, when then PM Tony Blair hosted some of media and music's biggest britpop parties.

My favourite ever Downing Street moment has to be that handshake between Obama and the policeman brother when he visited London after being sworn in as U.S president. Gordon Brown walked Obama in but Obama paused to acknowledge the ethnic policeman. It was a picture that spoke a million words, spawned hundreds of blog comments, was shared by millions and made the global BAME community smile.

We knew the handshake. The easy clasping of two mens hands that had experienced life and made it to this point. They knew the struggle and the unspoken message was understood by those that knew.

I too was afforded the opportunity of attending this prestigious home this week. The policeman standing guard outside was polite enough to consider my request to reenact that handshake with me for a photo, but understandably, on further thought kindly declined.

It was a very empowering evening at the iconic address, and tellingly, whoever we were, from every walk of life, at the end of the night, we were all eagerly taking photos with the most famous front door in history.

My invitation was from the Prime Minster to join him in celebrating many of the UK's most inspiring women ahead of International Women's Day.

We were offered a fabulous yet simple array of refreshments. Wine as well as soft beverages like elderflower, cranberry and orange juice. Nibbles included mini sausages on cocktail sticks, chicken skewers, prawn and mini caesar salad morsels and sweet delicacies.

It was a nicely diverse guest list. Campaigners, heads of charities, leading businesswomen, news editors, architect Dame Zaha Hadid, Joan Collins, Carol Vorderman, Eve Pollard, TV chef Lorraine Pascal, newsreaders like Fiona Bruce, supermodels like Erin O Connor, recent Olympians and more.

As well as household names there were regular British women like 44-year-old mother-of-two Diana Golding, whose aim is to raise the profile of women's football. She had been named Tesco Mum of the Year and has spent years to supporting her football-mad daughters.

Diana told her local paper she was here for "the fun and the experience, but if there is an opportunity to promote women's' football and girls' football with David Cameron, then of course I will have that conversation''.

David Cameron flew back all the way from his meeting with Angela Merkel in Brussels to be with us as he didn't want to disappoint ''the most important lady in his life''- the elegant, sophisticated Sam Cam.

He made a lovely welcome speech thanking us all for being who we were, praising doing what we do and being inspirations to other women.

He informed us

''Last year, 1,300 of our countrywomen were taken off to another country, married against their will, and this is something we need to do far more to crack down on."
He urged us all "to inspire future generations" by volunteering to speak in schools and "convince young girls what they can achieve".

He emphasized that as the UK was the only country to have fulfilled its foreign aid commitment to the rest of the world this past year, that in the next year we had a right and moral duty to lead on stopping female violence and discrimination globally.

In his speech to mark International Women's Day, he said the country would not rest until someone has been prosecuted for the "disgusting" practice of female genital mutilation.

Mr Cameron vowed to make 2014 the year Britain will "end violence and discrimination against women" by stepping up action on FGM, forced marriage and unfair workplaces.

He promised to use Britain's "moral authority" of its overseas aid record to demand better rights for women in developing countries, adding that women must be free to marry whom they like and manage their own finances.

"This is the resolution I make on this International Women's Day," he declared. "Let's redouble our efforts in politics, in business, in every aspect of national life, to end discrimination and bring about equality."

The UK has our own issues socially and politically, but I think if we're all brutally honest, no-one could say we don't live in one of the greatest countries in the world where women are allowed freedom of speech, education and many other things our fellow sisters globally, many of whom live in an anomic world, do not. High five Mister Cameron!

On the eve of International Women's Day, It's clear why this message was shared with us. Margaret Thatcher once said ''in politics, if you want something said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.''

March 8 is International Women's Day.

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp#.UxpzV16Xsy4