Christiane Amanpour at the lunch at Wiltons (All pics: Dave Benett)

    CNN presenter calls on women around the world to ‘step up’

    10 March 2017

    To mark International Women’s Day, London’s ladies descended on Wiltons, the one-time gentlemen’s haunt, to raise a glass of fizz to the fairer sex. As guests including Fantastic Beasts actress Alison Sudol and Mariella Frostrup caught up over a seafood lunch, former Lords Speaker Baroness D’Souza updated attendees on the progress being made for and by women in Afghanistan.

    Fresh from a trip visiting Syrian refugees in Jordan with her teenage son, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour tried to rouse women to strive for greater things:

    ‘The progress that women are making around the world sometimes defies the news reports. Afghanistan is one of the achievements. We know that we can do it, but our rights are not going to be cemented unless we get our men and boys on side.’

    Amanpour said there was still much work to do — even in her workplace. The current affairs anchor, who is married to Jamie Rubin, Clinton’s former US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said she was disappointed to learn that 82% of the guests she had on her show this year were male. ‘And it’s really bad — that is because when I call women many times they don’t step up,’ she sighed. ‘Some of them are busy and they actually do, they’re not busy preening themselves in front of television cameras, but many times they feel that they don’t step up. That is a huge thing, all women should step up and claim their competence to the world.’

    This applies to today’s leading ladies too. Amanpour said she was stunned when interviewing Harriet Harman this week when the former Labour deputy leader confided that as a woman she didn’t think she could run for the leadership — ‘she said I just don’t know why I didn’t do it’. With Labour at a poll low under Jeremy Corbyn, many in Labour may now be wondering the same.

    Here are a selection of photos from the event:

    Sara Sjolund and Alison Sudol

    Baroness D’Souza

    Olivia Inge

    Christiane Amanpour

    Lady Helen Taylor

    Mariella Frostrup