Cherie Blair on Sunday encouraged Palestinian businesswomen to play a stronger role in the local economy. In a speech to more than 100 Palestinian businesswoman, Blair also urged the international community to invest in the region's women. "I think we can do a lot for the Palestinian economy by empowering women. It's so important that women develop in this region," said Blair, a leading UK human rights lawyer and wife of former British prime minister and current international Middle East envoy Tony Blair. Blair told the women that they should play a more powerful role in the local, male-dominated economy.