With some of the AUW students
With the 10 fellows
Proud to be a student at the AUW
Cherie has been an ardent campaigner for the Asian University for Women globally and was delighted to be able to launch the Cherie Blair Fellowships in person.
Cherie recently visited Bangladesh on a four-day trip during which she launched the Cherie Blair Fellowships at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong where she is a Patron.
While in Dhaka Cherie had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to discuss matters relating to the AUW and then had further meetings with the Education Minister and the State Minister for the Environment on the same subject.
Cherie proceeded to Chittagong on Saturday, January 9 where she addressed nearly 300 students and faculty members of the AUW on its temporary campus in the city's Mehedibag area and conferred Cherie Blair Fellowships to 10 outstanding students who have demonstrated superior academic ability and outstanding leadership skills.
In her address she expressed her belief that women will play a crucial role in development around the world in the 21st century, she also praised the Bangladeshi education system that encouraged girl students from primary level. In Europe and America, most students in universities are females, she said. In Britain, nearly half the workforce in the law sector is female, but in many Asian countries, Cherie said, the full educational potential of women was not fulfilled. She hoped that the AUW would play a crucial role in reaching that target.
Following the awards ceremony she enjoyed sharing lunch with the Cherie Blair Fellows.
That evening the Mayor of Chittagong hosted a public reception in Cherie's honour and a dinner at which he presented her with the key to the City of Chittagong which now takes pride of place in her London office.
Addressing the function, Cherie said Chittagong and her home city of Liverpool share many common things and praised the port city, a cross roads between nations, as the ideal place for establishing the AUW. "Chittagong is also becoming a city of universities," she observed.
Underling the importance of increased women's education, particularly for their overall empowerment, Cherie emphasised how impressed she was that Bangladesh is governed by a woman as Prime Minister and that the Leader of the Oppositions in Parliament is also a woman.
"The primary and secondary education in Bangladesh is praiseworthy but tertiary education is very limited and that is why AUW is so important in Bangladesh," she noted.
Cherie hoped that the AUW would enable women students from across the region to fulfill their own potential and progress to meet society's challenges for effective and positive change through its innovative and rigorous curriculum, encompassing the liberal arts, sciences, and professional training.
"Liberal Arts will broaden the human faculty and build thoughtful and ethical leaders in society" she said
During her trip Cherie also give a public lecture at the Supreme Court Auditorium in Dhaka on "The Human Rights Imperative of Law" under the joint sponsorship of the Asian University for Women and the Bar Council of the Supreme Court. The full transcript of this lecture can be read in the section 'Speeches and Articles' of this website.
Cherie has been an ardent campaigner for the Asian University for Women globally. Last year she was in Hong Kong, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Brunei to rally support for the University. She is also due to be the featured speaker at a special event in support of AUW to be be held in Kuwait on January 31 under the sponsorship of AUW Kuwait Support Committee.
For more about the AUW click here
For coverage in the Arab Times click here
For coverage of the visit in New Nation click here
For coverage in the Daily Star click here