Author Archives: Meral Ece

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece writes: 117 years is too long to wait for gender parity

This week we marked International Women’s Day, the theme of which was ‘Pledge for Parity,’ borne of the latest prediction from the World Economic Forum that we won’t achieve global gender parity until 2133. This date is further in the future than the previous prediction, reflecting the fact that progress internationally, is slowing down, not speeding up. We must take action to tackle it, here and abroad.

Although we have made great strides here in the UK, there is still much to do. The gender pay gap is still real; women make up just 29% of House of Commons, we have too few women in leadership roles in the civil service, business, as newspapers editors and in the diplomatic service.

Violence against women domestically and globally is still endemic. I’m a member of the Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict, where we’ve heard some appalling evidence of how in some countries women’s lower status contributes to the violence they face. While there are so few women in positions of power internationally, violence continues to be widely used as a tool to keep women in their place.

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece writes…

On Monday 4 March, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, a renowned and respected disability rights campaigner, tabled an amendment, to which I included my name and support, opposing the Government’s proposal to repeal the ‘General Duty’ of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, arguing that doing so will fundamentally change the purpose, role and scope for the only equality and human rights statutory organisation in the UK.

The General Duty says that the EHRC ‘shall discharge its functions with a view to encouraging and supporting a society in which:

.. people’s ability to achieve their potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination,

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece writes: Towards racial equality

Nick Clegg said in his keynote speech to Autumn Conference last year that his objective is:

A fair start for every child… we allow prejudice, tradition and class to crush a million hopes and dreams….that’s why I have been leading the charge for social mobility – for fairer chances, for real freedom.

Liberal Democrats want to see opportunity unconstrained by discrimination, and with equal life chances with respect to ethnicity.

The world has become a smaller place. Improving transport links and technological breakthroughs are drawing the people of the world closer together. In socially and racially diverse 21st Century Britain we need to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 34 Comments

Meral Hussein Ece writes: my contribution in the Lords to the riots debate

This is the speech Meral made last Thursday as part of the Lords debate on the public disorder.

Baroness Hussein-Ece: My Lords, I, too, would like to associate myself and these Benches with the sentiments that have been expressed and to extend our condolences to those people who have lost so much in the terrible events from Saturday onwards. I thank my noble friend the Leader of the House for repeating the Prime Minster’s Statement today.

There is absolutely no excuse for the terrible scenes that we have witnessed on the streets of London and beyond in our cities over the …

Posted in Parliament | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Meral Hussein-Ece writes: Has multiculturalism failed?

When did the phrase multiculturalism become synonymous with extremism and segregation? According to the Prime Minister David Cameron, the ‘doctrine of multiculturalism’ has led to communities living separate lives, away from the mainstream and not integrating.

It is blamed for the erosion of ‘basic British values’, and that Muslims – because when we now talk about multiculturalism, what the debate now turns on is that Muslims do not adopt mainstream British values.

What is the evidence for this statement? The majority of Muslims in the UK are well-integrated and support and promote democracy, equality and British rule of law.

I wasn’t …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 37 Comments

Opinion: The last chance saloon on diversity?

I went to conference expecting something entirely different, perhaps influenced by the daily articles and news reports, that this conference was going to be like no other. That there was much unrest, and even anger amongst the Party’s ranks. Instead I found myself amongst many Lib Dem party members and friends who were upbeat and positive.

I didn’t speak to anyone – nor as far as I can gather did the media – who was vehemently opposed to the Coalition Government. Yes, this conference was like no other. It was the largest conference we’ve ever had, and our Leader is …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 21 Comments

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece’s maiden speech

In recent weeks, LDV has been bringing its readers copies of our new MPs’ first words in the House of Commons, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Alert LDV reader and bureaucratic blogger Mark Valladares, himself a husband to a Lib Dem Peer, our party’s president Ros Scott, has drawn to our attention that we have more new parliamentarians in the Other Place, who are also making maiden speeches. So today, Baroness Hussein-Ece’s words are reproduced below.

Baroness Hussein-Ece: My …

Posted in Parliament | Tagged , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Multiculturalism, Britishness & Community Cohesion

In the run up to the next general election, Gordon Brown will undoubtedly use one of his favourite themes: Britishness. He will do this as a smokescreen to disguise his own concerns and insecurities that as a Scot he will not receive sufficient support from Middle England. So he will roll out a pseudo debate that will ensure that those of us who are not from a White Anglo Saxon background, will be forced to prove our Britishness. Similar to the constant call for the majority of moderate, law abiding Muslims to constantly condemn terrorism, and demonstrate how we all embrace and celebrate Christmas.

I think its time we as Liberal Democrats, the party that has enshrined in our constitution our belief that we stand for equality, community, and non-conformity, had a serious debate about what we mean by this and how we are developing our policies and beliefs to respond to this debate.

Britain is a multicultural country: this statement was for decades a cause for celebration. Multiculturalism gained popularity in the 1960s. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on London in July 2005, many commentators, including Trevor Philips, then the Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, called for it to be scrapped. We were told that it was a ‘failed experiment.’ Was it compatible to be from another culture and be British? Questions and articles continue to question this, as to how young British people from ethnic minority communities (with the spotlight more recently on people of Muslim background) were not integrating into British society, despite being British born.

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments
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    Carbon negative simply means taking more carbon out of the atmosphere and oceans than we put in. It is perfectly possible.
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    Carbon negative? Electricity produced by elves at the end of the garden?