Inspirational Woman: International Women’s Day – 8 March 2019

March 8th, 2019

For International Women’s Day 2019 Alison and Dionne talk about two women who inspire them:

Mo Mowlam

Photo credit: The Guardian

I had the privilege of meeting Mo in Belfast when she was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at an International Women’s Conference (particularly apt for today). Mo had amazing charisma, was straight talking and did things in her own style being true to herself. She confounded her critics and was incredibly brave during treatment for a brain tumour. Rumour has it that she would pull off her wig at crucial moments during the peace talks, which would often break deadlock. A truly inspirational women who we lost far too early.

By Alison Love

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Image of Dame Tanni Grey Thomspon

Photo credit: UKA

I, like many of you, had heard of Tanni Grey-Thompson and knew of her amazing achievements in sport, with an impressive Paralympic medal tally of 16 medals across her sporting career! What I had not appreciated, until I heard her speak at a conference a couple of years ago, was the determination and spirit that she has and the amazing work that she has done in changing people’s perception of people with disabilities.

As a child, she faced a world that was not on board with equality for disabled people, as was evident when listening to the difficulties that her and her family faced in trying to convince the local authority that she should be able to attend a mainstream school and have a mainstream education. This was a battle that they eventually won, and it was at that mainstream school that she attended in Penarth that she discovered her love of sport.

Tanni was awarded an MBE in 1992 for her services to sport and in 2010 she was appointed to the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer speaking on a range of issues including disability rights, welfare reform and of course, sport. I wanted to share Tanni’s story in honour of International Women’s Day. I find her an inspiration and also a reminder, in the work that I do, of the importance of helping people to understand people’s differences so that we can all achieve our full potential in life.

By Dionne Dury

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