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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton

Everybody Matters: A Memoir

Mary Robinson

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: general, Biography: historical, political & military, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction

A moving memoir from the first female President of Ireland, and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

Shortlisted for the Political Book Awards 2013 Political Book of the Year

The first woman President of Ireland, who became UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson has spent her life in pursuit of a fairer world.

Now, for the first time, she reveals what lies behind the vision, strength and determination that has helped her to achieve so much for human rights around the globe.

She describes the upbringing which gave her her strong sense of values and how she came into painful conflict with her parents - marrying against their wishes and, later, helping to legalise contraception in a deeply Catholic Ireland.

As a barrister she won landmark cases advancing the causes of women and the marginalised against the prejudices of the day. When - to the surprise of many - she became the first woman President of Ireland in 1990, she put Ireland firmly on the international stage.

Accepting the position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 1997 was her biggest challenge and here she describes the huge political difficulties she encountered among the many triumphs.

Subsequently, based in New York, she led Realizing Rights for eight years, pioneering how to implement in practice economic and social rights: working in African countries on health, decent work, corporate responsibility and women's empowerment in peace and security.

Now heading her own Climate Justice foundation she has succeeded in finding the independence she needs to work effectively on behalf of the millions of poor around the world most affected by climate change.

Told with the same calm conviction and modest pride that has guided her life, Everybody Matters will inspire everyone who reads it with the belief that each of us can, in our own way, help to change the world for the better.

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Praise for Everybody Matters: A Memoir

  • Mary "rights-based" Robinson has been right about a lot of things... human wrongs and human rights... not just in theory but in practice and in action, whether for Ireland as President, for the UN as Rights Commissioner, at GAVI as Chair, or at the Elders. We need more Marys. Hail Mary. - Bono

  • Mary Robinson has all the Gaelic attributes; she is warm, friendly and engaging. She is really passionate about human rights, especially the rights of women and young girls, and cares deeply about the environment. This is her story, the story of the lawyer who rose to be Ireland's first woman President and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

  • 'Like many English words, the word "bold" - brave to the British - acquired new depths across the Irish Channel. It gained a sense of rebellion and a twinkle of mischief. Mary Robinson is a bold woman. Whether taking on the oppressive orthodoxy of Catholic dogma embedded in the Constitution, the rights of women, the oppressed and the dispossessed, she has been bold, courageous, compassionate and fiercely determined to do what is right. Even when she was a young girl playing the part of Batman, she took on the entire forces of evil and has been a fearless champion of those in need ever since. This is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman, who is also one of my heroes.' - Peter G

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