Monday, 14 June 2010

change at the ministry of women's affairs

i'd just like to do a short post acknowledging the work of shenagh glassner, the retiring chief executive of the ministry of women's affairs. i've come across ms glassner many times over the years, and have heard speak a number of times. she has been a great advocate for women, and i'm sorry that she will no longer be with the ministry.

this is her farewell message:

I am writing to you with just a week to go before my term as Chief Executive finally finishes. I shall be leaving for a big family gathering in Europe the evening of my last day, Friday 18 June.

It is my great pleasure to tell you, if you have not already heard, that Rowena Phair will be the new Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. She will be starting on Tuesday 13 July. Rowena was instrumental in building up the policy team in the Ministry in 2004. It is most reassuring that it is she who will be back to lead the Ministry as its Chief Executive.

It is a real pleasure to be handing over a Ministry in such a positive and strong state, a stable and committed staff, focused work programme and an energetic Minister. This is a time of significant change all over the world, economically, technologically, socially and politically. I hope the Ministry will continue to be at the forefront of the innovative response, taking opportunities from these changes.

You will know that I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Ministry – the daily challenge of discovering ways for this small agency to have a big influence has been a joy to me. I look back at some significant achievements over the last six years; but I also very much regret that progress for women is so patchy, slow moving and fragile.

So everything that you have done, and will do in the future, is vital. It is impossible for the Ministry to be effective without the leadership, support, ideas and actions of all of you. Ministries, or governments, have never been able to bring about significant change alone – that is why all the big and little things that you do, matter such a lot.

My main purpose in writing is to say thank you for the many enjoyable conversations I have had with you and inspiration I have received from you – no wonder I have enjoyed this six years so much, having had the good fortune to meet and work with so many of you.

I hope our paths will cross in the future, whatever that may be.

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