Kanchan JadejaKanchan Jadeja commented on the deeply unfair finding that when a child starts education at age 5 years old the highest determinant of the outcome of that education at 18 years old is class. She stated that 'Education is often seen as a tool for social mobility but some would argue that it is in fact a tool of social non-mobility.' The aspiration is that education is free and allows everyone to have the same start in life.

Shaima Saif

Why women have been so important to the Arab Spring?

The Middle Eastern countries are not exactly renowned for their equal treatment towards women whether it be for education or economic prosperity.

I am really glad that Justina Mutale earlier mentioned the global gender gap index released by the World Economic Forum in October 2013. The Region of the Middle East and North Africa was placed in the lower quartile of the global gender gap index. Yemen, my home country of family origin, unfortunately ranks 136th out of 136 countries. There is an interconnected web of misfortunes. Lack of access to education, sheer poverty, cultural reasons, not religious, can be noted as a barrier for not reducing the gender gap. There are challenges for women in the family, the society and by the state to reducing this gap.

Liz LawElizabeth Law agreed with statements made earlier by Rt Hon Baroness Verma and Justina Mutale that it is a positive and necessary thing to do to involve women in leadership in partnership with men.  It is bad to exclude talent and a fresh perspectives.

She explained that the European Parliament has 35% women while the member states on average have 22% women in national level Parliaments and Assemblies. The European Women's Lobby had campaigned during 2008 to 2009 prior to European elections to increase the percentage of women in the European Parliament. The percentage had increased from 30% to 35%. They are hoping for increases also during the upcoming elections in 2014.


The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) minerals have been valued at $24 trillion dollars according to IHS experts with more than 1,100 different minerals. The main ones include: copper, cobalt, silver uranium, lead, zinc, cadmium, diamonds, gold, tin, tungsten, manganese and a rare metal such as coltan. The latter, is one of the so called 3Ts, or tantalum, tungsten and tin, and together with gold they have been instrumental in driving deadly atrocities in the eastern DRC for nearly two decades now. Since the invasion of DRC by neighbouring countries, Rwanda and Uganda, we have witnessed the DRC’s rich resources being plundered for the benefit of few. Militia and armed groups are used to terrorise civilians, mainly woman and children, using rape as a weapon of fear. DRC is not at war with anyone.

'Human Rights: Are Democratic Nations Upholding a Better Standard' London UK 21-22 November, 2013

Universal Peace Federation and Women's Federation for World Peace Co-sponsored Conference held in the UK Parliament during Parliament Week and Interfaith Week.


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