CATCHING up with Eastenders star Poojah Shah on International Women's Day, it was so refreshing to hear a celebrity speak so passionately.

Ms Shah told of how women in rural Indian communities often have little or no access to education, healthcare or paid employment, so earning an income.

Therefore, earning a living can mean the difference between life and death for their families.

“Here in the UK, we take things for granted. Women in the poorest societies in the world are still being treated second class, even in their own home,” said Ms Shah, who is supporting the Ikea initiative.

The scheme sees the Swedish furniture company team up with Rangsutra and Industree PT in India, to create a new range of hand-embroidered products, HEMTRAKT.

These products are handmade by women in remote, disadvantaged communities.

Ikea initiative spokesman, Ann-Sofie Gunnarsson, said: “We want these women to become skilled and make their own money and for them to be role models to their children.”

We all need to take steps to help young women and girls achieve their ambitions, gender equality and respect internationally.


Elsewhere, Manchester band 'The 1975' have scored their first chart-topping album on the 'weekly US Billboard 200', knocking Adele off the top spot. Adele’s ‘25’ slipped to number two after shifting 74,000 units.

Matty Healy, the 1975 frontman, is the son of actress mum Denise Welch’ and actor father, Tim Healy.


Meanwhile, I am now officially a 'Loose Lady', after joining Lynne Chick (yes it's her real name) on Radio Deeside, for their re-launch of their Loose Ladies show alongside singer- songwriter, Jordan Adams.