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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 6:18 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham 6:18 pm, 13th October 2008

I am listening with interest and respect to the hon. Lady's speech. I very much welcome what she says about women's rights and involvement. Of course, we cannot change the world overnight, but on the principle that he who pays the piper calls the tune, surely we can exert some influence? Does the hon. Lady share my horror—which was certainly shared by Malcolm Bruce—that when the International Development Committee has visited some women's projects in a number of African countries over the past few years, we have been taken aback by the fact that the speeches have invariably been delivered by the men, while women, including highly qualified graduates and masters graduates, were left serving the tea? We were paying for those projects, so surely we can do something about that?