Clare Short delivered first UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Annual Lecture
Clare Short, Former Secretary of State for International Development gave the first UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Annual Lecture at Lancaster University called ‘Do women think differently about foreign policy?’.
Clare Short is former Secretary of State for International Development in the Labour government from 1997. She has been a long-standing Member of Parliament for Ladywood, Birmingham. She was previously Shadow Minister for Women and made a major impact on Labour thinking on gender issues, including violence against women.
UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues.
Professor Sylvia Walby, UNESCO Chair in Gender Research at Lancaster University, introduced the lecture.
Clare Short discussed how the UK could play a more useful role in the world, which would also serve our real interests, in working with others for a more just world order and a more sustainable use of natural resources.
She said that there is a fixation by the political elite on massive weaponry and being America's best friend, as in the Iraq war, and that it is unlikely that the UK will make progress without new thinking.
“Given that women consistently have considerable doubts about war as a solution to foreign policy questions, I will ask whether, the now well established field of gender analysis might take the lead in rethinking our foreign policy.”
Professor Sylvia Walby was made the UNESCO Chair of Gender Research in 2008. Part of her role is to plug the gap in the information available about gender issues world wide. UNESCO has identified gender equality as a key priority.
Saniye Gülser Corat Director of the Division for Gender Equality, UNESCO said:
“ I am especially counting on the Chairs that work on issues related to gender equality and the Chair at Lancaster University under the leadership of Professor Sylvia Walby is an invaluable resource of ideas and research and a special partner for reflections in this area to strengthen UNESCO's advocacy and actions to promote gender equality in its 193 member states.
“I look forward to continuing and in fact strengthening our collaboration with lancaster University and with Sylvia Walby in our efforts to promote this very important priority of Unesco.”