International Women’s Day is a timely reminder for me to spend time appreciating the tremendous freedom that we enjoy as women in the UK. It focuses my attentions on the disturbing situations that many women across the world have to live within, and makes me realise that it is only an accident of birth that has allowed me to enjoy the privileged life we as women in the UK have in comparison.

As the Womankind Worldwide organisation points out , ‘’Every day women and girls face discrimination, poverty and violence just because they are female.’’ ’’

I am proud to be associated with The Springboard Consultancy, which has developed programmes that have helped hundreds of thousands of women to aspire to, and achieve more, in their lives and careers.

Springboard programmes are now run in more that 37 countries worldwide and this week, Jenny Daisley (one of the founders and joint CEO) left for Iraq, where she is speaking on ‘Empowering Women’ at an International Women’s Day event in Erbil, Iraq, on Saturday 8th March. During her visit, Jenny will also be running a workshop for MPs, General Directors, ‘The High Council of Women’ and other women in senior positions, to explore the possibility of running Springboard in Kurdistan.

I admire Jenny for her achievements and for taking action, where many of us (myself included) feel the issues are just too huge for us to be able to make a difference.

So although, we do still have gender related issues to face in this country, let’s just pause in whatever we are doing on March 8th, and give some thought to the plight of women elsewhere in the world, and perhaps we can each find a way to make some small contribution which together will make a difference.