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Women in Power reveal what it takes  Back to top
 What it takes
  Juggling and balancing    

 Commitment and passion
 Listening and consensus
 Juggling and balancing
 Seize the moment
 Getting more women in
   power: what it will take

 Advice from women
   in world politics

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In politics it is essential for women with children to have strong support from their partners or help with childcare. Brundtland and Ashrawi had partners who were willing to take their turn at childcare, some women have not had children or have waited until their children were older - others have managed to combine a family and politics. All emphasise the need to to keep life in perspective and not to let politics take over as Mo Mowlam explains:

Mo Mowlam: "you make sure you have a hinterland, you make sure you have something else in life that is important. I don't have children but I have stepchildren which I think is probably the best of both worlds. I didn't have to bring them up and worry about dentists or school uniforms but I had the pleasure of them and I have things I enjoy doing. I enjoy going to the cinema with my husband and …you have to make yourself as normal as possible because if not you become addicted to politics and forget what life is about and what other people are thinking."

Afshar: "These women have really had to be exceptional in many ways, not necessarily in themselves but in their ability to negotiate what is the burden of all women - their domestic duties, their familial obligations, but also to step into an arena men see as their own."