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Wednesday's Connector: Cherie Blair

June 21st, 2010
02:14 PM ET

Cherie Blair may be best known as the former first lady of British politics and wife of Tony Blair, but she is also a very powerful figure in the world of philanthropy.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/21/blair.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Cherie Blair is your Connector of the Day."]

Blair, who is also known professionally as Cherie Booth, was born outside Manchester in 1954 and grew up just north of Liverpool.

Blair studied law at the London School of Economics and finished at the top of her class.

In 1976, while she was studying to become a lawyer, she met future husband and British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

The pair married four years later and today, have four children.

While Tony Blair was Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, Blair was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

In 2000, Blair was also a founding member of the Matrix Chambers in London, which specializes in human rights law.

The firm does however practice UK public and private law, the Law of the European Union and European Convention on Human Rights, and public international law.

Today, Blair is working closely with the Loomba Trust, which is a charity trying to reduce the plight of impoverished widows and their children around the world.

Blair is leading the charge to create awareness for International Widows Day which is on June 23.

The event hopes to raise awareness for the more than 100 million widows worldwide which are affected by either poverty, rape, abuse, conflict or HIV.

Here's your chance to speak to Cherie Blair.

Do you want to know more about International Widows Day? Do you want to know why she chose this particularly cause?

Please leave your questions for Cherie Blair below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Cherie Blair and CNN friends,

    In what way can we Stop the wars, especially in Afghanistan, to prevent more widows who have lost their husbands in war battles?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  2. lara williams

    i work with widows in nigeria and i will promote the international widows day on 23 – o6 – 2010. i want to know if mrs blair will come to nigeria to help us with an intiative called josefina. josefina has a target to help 1, 000, 000 widows set up a sustainable venture as an entrepreneur to support themselves and their children.

    we work with poor and disadvantaged widows/women. I hope you will help us, so many of the women have the capacity to be useful but have no opporunity to realize their capacity. We want them to have sustainable livelioods to care for their children without having to beg.

    Lara Williams
    Mowe, Ogun State
    Nigeria

    June 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  3. Marie

    Mrs Blair:

    -What affects do you think the aspects of illiteracy and lack of extended education have on the lives of these widows.

    -How can we break this cycle to allow for better futures for the next generation of girls, particularly the children of the widows themselves.

    Thank you for all your fabulous work ;).

    Canada.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:20 am | Reply
  4. Keira

    Hello,

    My question is : How much of an uphill battle has it been to change attitudes about issues such as rape, HIV, abuse, etc, if at all? Do you find that women are more receptive to change or do they still find themselves fitting into roles imposed by society, especially in developing countries?

    Thank you!!

    Keira
    NY

    June 23, 2010 at 4:35 am | Reply
  5. Joani

    This is fine but since when has Cherie Blair been a politician? And when was she elevated to Queen Cherie?

    The First Lady and head of government in the UK is the Queen. That's why it's called Her Majesty's government. Calling Cherie Blair First Lady is more than a little ignorant.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:37 am | Reply
  6. ojie uketi

    hello
    i was just six year when my mother be came a widow now am 34yr ,if i may ask in what way do you think this we change the poverty in africa and conflict around the world?

    thank you!!

    ojie
    spain

    June 23, 2010 at 10:51 am | Reply
  7. Alex

    How can you justify your stance on Human Rights when your husband was complicit, through his own inaction, on the removal of Human Rights from individuals you later ended up defending?

    Was it a question of division of the Executive from the Judiciary? or more subtle than that?

    June 23, 2010 at 11:17 am | Reply
  8. Sandra

    Dear Mrs. Blair,

    – What do you think is the main cause of the plight of impoverished widows, either globally or in a certain region? How would you describe the current situation: would you say there is an increasing number of unfortunate incidents which increase the numbers of these disadvantaged widows or did you see a decreasing trend? If there is an increasing trend, what can be done about that?

    – Do you find it is necessary to enact a law that particularly protects women's rights in the society? What is your view toward cultures which encourage more traditional supportive roles for women? Since in such cultures it would be difficult for the law to be carried on, what could these disadvantaged women/widows do besides relying on charities?

    Thank you.

    Sandra
    SouthEast Asia

    June 23, 2010 at 11:40 am | Reply
  9. John O'Neill, Belfast

    Please DO NOT apply the contrived, childish Americanism "First Lady" retrospectively to Mrs. Blair. The term "First Lady" is applied to the wife of an American President in recognition of her place as the spouse of the head of state. British Prime Ministers are heads of GOVERNMENT. The spouse of the UK's Head of State is The Duke of Edinburgh, and if you wish to call him First Lady of anything, prepare to be run over by a racing carriage.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  10. hugo mizzi

    What internationa actions are considered to minimize the soberness, widows feel, developing it into at least meaningful solitude.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  11. hugo mizzi

    What practical initiatives and incentives will be internationally be considered to develop the soberness, widows feel, into at least
    meaningful solitude.

    H Mizzi
    Malta

    June 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  12. Torrin Kim

    Why do you think the UK press were so much tougher on you than Sarah Brown?

    Thanks,
    Torrin Kim
    Sydney

    June 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  13. Stephen Clarke

    She just awesome and a good role model

    June 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  14. Esme Moodley

    Mrs Blair and CNN

    I was overwhelmed on your choosing to bring the widows livelihood into international attention. I too am a widow with 3 sons and gravely understand the plight of a widow. Thank you for defending the widow.

    God Bless

    Esme Moodley

    June 24, 2010 at 10:06 am | Reply
  15. Esme Moodley

    I would to to join you on your expidition for defending widows and children. How can I assist. Thank You

    June 24, 2010 at 10:08 am | Reply
  16. jonny

    pls madam, how does your organisation affects the rural widows far off outside europe. especially africa and asia.

    June 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  17. Paulina

    Hi, I'm from Mexico. I wanted to ask Cherie Blair about the importance of her personal image in her political life.

    – As aware as we all are of your importance as influence to other women, how does being so important affect your personal life decision-wise?

    thank you.

    June 28, 2010 at 6:31 am | Reply

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