At a time when borders are open and globalisation is a part of our everyday lives, the concept of safety and security and its consequences for the individual becomes ever more evident; in decisions we need to make and in daily interactions with our fellow human beings.
Women for women
It is against this background that we, Lisa Loehner and Myrtle Barrow, want to unite women. In the way in which we organise our own lives, through our energy, through positive thinking, through our work, our actions or quite simply in what we do every day but not least through a spirit of motivational force and reason – this is how we feel we may inspire one another. In the same way that self-confidence grows with information and enlightenment, the wish to set new challenges and to carry others with you will also grow proportionately.
The Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) shall serve as an instrument to bring together women who have a common purpose. Our intention is to join with interested, able, influential and dynamic women who share similar ethical attitudes and who will help us to develop the Foundation into a supportive organisation.
We see the Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) as a specialised platform, a forum from which women may get information about their own safety and security and also receive support and inspiration from other women who have power and influence within the global community. The Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) is a tool that enables women to take matters into their own hands and develop positive strategies to strengthen their own safety and that of their families.
How we got to this stage
We are both women and mothers who have become increasingly concerned about the safety and security of our daughters, sons, husbands/partners and friends.
At the beginning of the 1980s we met, through mutual friends, in the ski resort of St. Anton in Austria. We come from very different cultures and do not speak the same language but we soon realised we had a lot in common. Since then our friendship has grown and developed into something very special because there is so much that connects us.
We soon found out that we both shared a positive attitude to life and once we had started out on a particular mission, we would be unshakeable in our aims and ambitions. It was evident that we had similar ideas about life and the world around us.
One evening, while we were eating at a restaurant that was rather appropriately called Due Amici and having a very stimulating discussion, the idea for the Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) came to us. Our Foundation has no political aims. The purpose of the Women’s Security Foundation, is to bring together women who wish to change the environment in which they live and to facilitate the creation of an international network of women. WSF aims to give help and support to women who wish to use their own voices and actions to protect themselves and their families.
To quote the late Michael Jackson in 'The Man in the Mirror': “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change!” As women, we want to adopt a clear position and bring about changes that help to make the world a better and more secure place for us all.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE FOUNDERS
For decades, Austrian Lisa Loehner, was at the head of her own company established by her in Graz in 1984. She began in a small way but that modest beginning became the cornerstone for the general import and sales distribution for internationally well-known designer perfume brands such as Burberry, Fendi, Trussardi, Benetton, Krizia any many more.
She also worked on her own line, “Lisa Loehner Inner Beauty” – a holistic concept for beauty from within – nutritional supplements supported by CDs and a book that encouraged people to address their priorities.
Because of globalisation, the distribution of designer perfume brands returned to the manufacturing companies. As a result, and after 25 very successful years in the business Lisa Loehner shifted her activity to the field of international business development and luxury real estate in the United Arab Emirates, using her prestigious global contacts and concentrating on personal investment.
Lisa Loehner still has close contacts with the largest trade chains in the German-speaking area, such as the REWE Group (Bipa, Merkur, Billa etc), dm, Douglas, Marionnaud and many others and with multinational companies and manufacturers with whom she has done significant business over many years.
In the past few years she has earned awards including an honorary doctorate, the “Stier der Hohensalzburg” [“World Award of Human Heart”] and the “Business and Professional Women Award”. Lisa Loehner is a Rotary Member and a Member of the Board of the Austrian Emirates Society.
Lisa Loehner’s open mindedness and personal commitment have enabled her to enjoy the total trust of renowned international business partners. However, what is decisive for this mother of two, is the consistent follow-up of new ideas and projects based on boundless optimism true to the motto: You have to aim high to achieve what is most possible.
In 2011, Lisa Loehner decided to use her extensive experience to create a platform for the safety and security of women, particularly because it is an issue that is of daily increasing concern for women and their families. In May 2011, she co-founded the Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) with her friend, Myrtle Barrow.
Lisa Loehner spends most of her time in Austria and in the United Arab Emirates.
Myrtle Barrow was born in Jamaica and studied at Shortwood Teachers’ Training College and The University of the West Indies. She worked as a teacher for several years, teaching 11-18 year old students, before moving to London in 1986. She found the teaching profession both inspiring and challenging because she was helping young people to understand the world.
In 2001 Myrtle was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a tumour removed. This was followed by chemotherapy and later by a mastectomy. Throughout this difficult time, Myrtle remained positive and continued to care for her family and those around her.
This experience inspired Myrtle to increase her focus on charitable foundations. She began working voluntarily for Breast Cancer Campaign and is now in her 11th year with them. She truly believes that education and research is the key to finding a cure to this disease. As part of her role on the Pink Ribbon Ball committee, she helps to organise the Pink Ribbon Ball, held at the Dorchester Hotel in London each year. In 2010, it raised approximately £250,000. Myrtle Barrow is the longest serving member of the Pink Ribbon Ball Committee, through which she contributes greatly to fund raising efforts.
She was recently asked to speak at a breast cancer conference to inform, motivate and inspire the audience through her own personal experience. Myrtle Barrow is also currently writing a book about her experiences with breast cancer which she hopes will inspire and motivate others.
Myrtle Barrow has a B.Sc. (hons) in Social Sciences and is very interested in the way people interact and in sociology in general. She is at her happiest when she is interacting positively with others and is described by her peers as an ‘inspirational figure’.
In 2011 Myrtle Barrow made the decision to create a platform for the safety and security of women, particularly because this is an issue that is of increasing importance to women and their families in these uncertain times. In May 2011, together with her friend, Lisa Loehner, whom she met back in the 80s, she started the Women’s Security Foundation (WSF) – project.
Myrtle Barrow lives in London with her husband and four children.
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