I must congratulate the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Federation for World Peace for getting so many people from many different backgrounds, cutting across race, nationality and religion. You bring depth and breadth into the same room. I have been a long -time advocate for women. As Mitty Tohma said the late Dr Moon saw a great role for women in the future.
The society and culture has only survived through the strength of its women. They have fought to keep their families together through wartime, economic crashes and many hardships. I do not know any mother who would not cower in a corner to protect her children from the evil that surrounded them.
51% of the world’s population is female. There are some fabulous women out there. Fabulous men too. I work in a Department that is very dominated by men. My previous Department, in the Home Office, also was very dominated by men. I would like to say to my male colleagues that I have to congratulate you on being there. It is not that you should not be there. I would just ask you humbly, humbly, to allow some more space for some fabulous women. Every business that has looked at the way they work, every Parliament that has reflected the nation they represent by including more women, has operated more effectively. There is no ‘negativeness’ in this. We will not make progress without the cooperation of men.
I see some familiar faces in the audience. I am glad to be in the wider family of the people in this room. Women, you have a big job to do. When you find barriers do not give up. We can make such a difference if we keep going. Those decisions are very important. If we are going to make those changes you should invite your neighbour to join you. We need to make a quiet revolution.
If you reach out the help is always there. If nine people oppose you then I can guarantee that there will be one who will support you to help you through when you are trying to change society for the better. That is what I did. When I found discrimination or obstacles I fought them and tried to make a difference by joining other groups. Be brave and do it and, you know, you will find great people along the way.
Author: Rt. Hon. Baroness Sandip Verma
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom
Baroness Verma was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in September 2012. She is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. In 2006 she was raised to the peerage as Baroness Verma of Leicester in the County of Leicestershire. She was Opposition Whip from 2006 to 2010, then Government Whip following the 2010 general election. Prior to becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DECC, she was Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, International Development, Women and Equalities and Business Innovation and Skills. Convinced that one can make a difference by empowering people to help themselves, she speaks about innovation, forward thinking and skill development.