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Women chair Davos forum

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Women chair Davos forum

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For the first time in the 48-year history of the World Economic Forum, the 2018 summit in Davos, Switzerland will be chaired entirely by women.

The co-chairs of the event include International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde, IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty, and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Women in senior roles in industry are still the exception rather than the norm. The seven were invited onto the panel in response to previous criticism about the prominence of men in the running of the event.

Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, is looking to this move as an example of how the future should be.

"I'm really excited for those women who are leading us this year. And I hope that it's just the beginning and we're going to have more women in boardrooms, more women leaders and equal pay amongst many other things. So let's make it that."

Sharan Burrow is the Secretary-General of the International Trade Union Confederation.

"We need to make sure that women's voices are heard. That women do have equal rights. That they are in the workforce in equal numbers and the wave of violence against women is in fact eliminated."

The development charity Oxfam has called for action to tackle the growing gap between rich and poor as it launched a new report showing that 42 people hold as much wealth as half of the world’s population.

Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International described how her organisation's study found women at the bottom of the poverty scale.

"Gender inequality and economic inequality are linked and have to be dealt with together. We actually show in our report that the majority of ordinary people who are trapped in poverty, who are doing the most miserable jobs, with the worst working conditions and the lowest pay; the majority are women."