Author(s): Mary Robinson
One of the most inspiring women of our age, 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, as her personal convictions grew, 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 followed her conscience to win landmark cases advancing the causes of women and the marginalised against the prejudices of the day. And when - to the surprise of many - she became the first woman President of Ireland in 1990, she reinvented the role and put Ireland firmly on the international stage. Accepting the position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 1997 was to prove her biggest challenge and here she does not shrink from describing the huge political difficulties she encountered among the many triumphs. 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.
Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and first woman, President of Ireland from 1990-1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. Robinson has been Honorary President of Oxfam International since 2002, and has chaired numerous bodies including the GAVI Alliance, vaccinating children worldwide, the Council of Women World Leaders (of which she was a co-founder), the International Institute for Environment and Development, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. A former President of the International Commission of Jurists, Robinson serves on the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports good governance in Africa, and is a member of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela. A member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society, she is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Indira Ghandi and Sydney Peace Prizes, and has been Chancellor of Dublin University since 2000.