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Lords marks International Women's Day

8 March 2024

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To mark International Women's Day, the House of Lords debated the steps taken to promote the economic inclusion of women, on Friday 8 March.


Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative), Parliamentary Secretary at the Treasury, put forward the debate.

This is a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.    

Members speaking 

Members speaking in the debate included:

  • Baroness Amos (Labour), former UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief
  • Baroness Gohir (Crossbench), CEO, Muslim Women's Network UK
  • Baroness Helic (Conservative), advisory board member of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security, at the London School of Economics
  • Baroness Thornton (Labour), Labour spokesperson for equalities and women's issues.

Baroness Casey of Blackstock (Crosssbench), chair of the independent review of standards and internal culture in the Metropolitan Police, gave her maiden speech during this debate.

Opening the debate, Baroness Vere of Norbiton said:

'The evidence shows that investing in women and breaking down the barriers they face accelerates international development. That is why British International Investment continues to champion 'gender-smart investing' and why it has pledged that 25% of its new investments in the period 2022-26 will focus on supporting women’s economic empowerment.'

Baroness Amos said:

'There are disparities with Black and Asian women more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth and in the year following childbirth than white women...Will the Minister say what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations in the Women and Equalities Committee’s report on Black maternal health?'

Speaking about pay inequality, Baroness Gale (Labour), said: 

'Considering that the Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1975, how much longer do women have to wait to achieve equality of earnings? It has taken an awfully long time to get to this stage.'

Baroness Barran (Conservative), Lords government spokesperson for equalities, and Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Education, responded on behalf of the government.

Get involved 

Watch and read the debate  

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

See images from the debate on Flickr.

Explore background information  

Find out more about the issues the debate covers in the House of Lords Library briefing .

Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris