IBBC Women’s Group Roundtable: Judge Marilyn Mornington on Women in the Workplace
The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Women’s Group held its first roundtable with District Judge Marilyn Mornington as the key note speaker.
The event was held at G4S offices in Victoria on the 7th April and was attended by representatives of member universities and international companies, think tanks, Iraqi guests and the Iraqi government.
Angelique Lecorps, Senior Consultant at G4S and Chairman of the IBBC Women’s Group, gave an introduction on the Group’s background and explained its aim to become a networking platform to help Iraqi women to enter and advance in the work place.
Judge Mornington asked for a minute of silence to remember Zaha Hadid, the famous Iraqi-British architect who died last week, as ‘a role model for women around the world’. The judge praised Zaha Hadid and pointed out how she overcame her situation as a female working in a male dominated sector, as a refugee and as an immigrant.
The roundtable touched upon topics such as women’s access to education and the workplace, how women’s choices affect the next generations, and the Judge’s experience in countries such as the UK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The contradictory fact of highly educated Muslim women being forced into arranged marriages, the existence of laws that protect women but are not enforced by the society, and the difficulty of the work-life balance were highlighted.
Iraqi guests from the audience gave their views about the situation of women in their country, highlighting how poverty, regional and social aspects have direct impact on women’s access to the work place.
Participants spoke about successful female entrepreneurship programmes and encouraged the Group and the IBBC to think about a way of promoting this amongst Iraqi women. ‘Women have the duty to help other women’ said Judge Mornington whilst explaining her own experience as a mentor. She was quick to add that ‘the best work I’ve done though is with the best men’, highlighting the importance of getting men on board in any initiative towards women empowerment.
The IBBC Women’s Group hopes to hold another roundtable in June/July 2016 on Women in Iraq and the KRI.
Judge Mornington is an international lecturer, broadcaster and writer on international women’s rights, domestic violence, gender crime and international peace and has dedicated her life to eradicating violence against children and women. For over 20 years she has been instrumental in advancing many UK policies, laws and practices concerning issues of domestic violence, forced marriage and honour‐based violence.
She has founded and chaired many prestigious committees, advised governments, written and lectured to a wide range of audiences, on Family Law and issues affecting Asian/Muslim communities, nationally and internationally, recently including giving the concluding keynote speech in Abu Dhabi at the Worldwide Forum for “The Promotion of Peace in Muslim Communities” at the invitation of HRH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister UAE.