Speakers and Facilitators

This page provides information about the speakers and facilitators at Feminism in London 2010.

Nadje Al-Ali

Nadje Al-AliNadje Al-Ali is Professor in Gender Studies and Chair of the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Nicola Pratt) is entitled Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009).

Nadje is currently President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS). She is also a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq. (www.acttogether.org) and a member of Women in Black UK.

Nadje spoke on the Global women’s movement panel.

Leila Alikarami

Leila AlikaramiLeila Alikarami is a practicising lawyer in the field of media, women’s rights and children’s rights and a member of Iran’s Defenders of Human Rights Centre.

Active in One Million Signatures, a campaign by women in Iran calling for the repeal of discriminatory laws, Leila has conducted legal training and teaching to raise awareness as well as defended campaigners who have been arrested by the Iranian government. The Campaign has received the Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award, Reach All Women in War’s Anna Politkovskaya Award and the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom.

Leila spoke on the Global women’s movement panel.

Kristin Aune

Kristin Aune is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Derby. Most of her research and activism has focused on gender, religion and feminism, and she has published widely on these themes. Her most recent book, on the resurgence of feminism in the UK in the twenty-first century, is Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement (Zed Books, 2010), co-authored with Catherine Redfern.

Kristin, along with Catherine Redfern, spoke and facilitated a discussion at the Feminism in London After party.

Vera Baird

Vera BairdVera Baird QC was MP for Redcar from 2001-10, becoming a member of the government in 2006 and appointed Solicitor General in 2007.

As Solicitor General, she initiated work culminating in better judicial directions in rape cases; set up Baroness Stern’s Review of Rape and the public authorities and took an active role in the formulation of the then government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy as well as being active on the Ministerial Committees dealing with Trafficking; implementation of the Corston Review about women with vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system and cross governmental  issues about domestic and sexual abuse. She took the landmark Equalities Bill successfully through all its stages in the House of Commons to become law.

As a backbencher, Vera was Chair of the All Party Groups on Equalities, Domestic Violence and Citizen’s Advice.  She was Secretary of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s Women’s Committee.  In the Ministry of Justice, she  was responsible for equalities, civil justice, social exclusion and women and sentencing.

Before Parliament, as a criminal defender, Vera took part in many key civil liberties cases.  She successfully defended the four women charged with Criminal Damage to a Hawk aircraft destined for bombing East Timor, and has worked on cases about almost every protest movement in the last two decades from Greenham Common to Menwith Hill, the miners strike, Stop the City. She represented Emma Humphreys in her ground-breaking case about the law on battered women who kill their violent partners, did research, now implemented, into homicide law and women at St Hilda’s College Oxford, was involved in early reform of the laws surrounding rape, and was also Chair of the Fawcett commission on women and the criminal justice system from 2002 until she became a Minister.

Vera’s publications include ‘The Law of Harassment’, ‘Rape in Court’ and ‘Battered Women who Kill and the Criminal Law’.  Her interests include writing, travel, reading, running, and Poppy, her rescued Bedlington Terrier.  She is a widow with two stepsons.

Vera was a panelist in the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.

Beverley Beech

Beverley BeechBeverley Lawrence Beech is a freelance writer, researcher, campaigner, and mother of two and has campaigned to improve maternity care since the birth of her second child in 1976.

Beverley is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a committee member of their Maternity Forum. For six years she was a lay adviser to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford and for five years a lay member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and also for six years a member of the Midwifery Committee of the NMC. She was also a lay member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Maternity Forum, and a founder member of CERES (Consumers for Ethics in Research), and ENCA (European Network of Childbirth Associations).

She lectures, both nationally and internationally, on consumer issues in maternity care and the medicalisation of birth.  She is the honorary chair of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services. When not lecturing on maternity care from a user perspective Beverley can be found on the Thames at Hammersmith sailing an Enterprise dinghy.

Publications include: Who’s Having Your Baby? 1987, Childbirth Care – Users’ Views, 1992, Women’s View of Childbirth in Obstetrics in the1990s: Current Controversies, 1992, Editor of ‘Water Birth Unplugged – Proceedings of the First International Water Birth Conference’, Books for Midwives Press. Choosing a Water Birth, AIMS, 1994, Co-author, with Jean Robinson of ‘Ultrasound Unsound?’ AIMS, 1996, Co-author, with Nadine Edwards of ‘Birthing Your Baby – the Second Stage of Labour’, AIMS, 2001, Am I Allowed? AIMS, 2003, Downe S, McCormick C and Beech BL (2001).  Labour interventions associated with normal birth, British Journal of Midwifery, Vol 9, no 10, p602-606., Unassisted doesn’t need to mean unattended, The Practising Midwife, Vol 11, No6, p20-21., Normal birth: women’s stories.  Beech BAL and Phipps B in Downe S (Ed).  Normal Birth – Women’s Stories in Normal Childbirth – Evidence and Debate, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008, ISBN 978-0-443-06943-7.

Beverley spoke on the Reproductive Health panel.

Jay Bernard

Jay BernardJay Bernard is author of Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl, which was the poetry book society’s pamphlet choice for summer 2008. She was recently poet in residence on allotments in London and Oxford, and at the Benenden School in Kent. She has read her work on radio shows such as The Verb, The Green Room and the Today Show; and appeared at venues from Trafalgar Square and Shakespeare’s Globe, at festivals such as Vienna Lit in Austria and Latitude.  As well as writing poetry, Jay has written a libretto commissioned by the Royal Opera House and penned a monthly cartoon strip called Budo. She currently blogs at brrnrrd.wordpress.com.

Unfortunately Jay was involved in an accident and was unable to speak in the closing session as planned.

Catherine Brogan

Catherine BroganCatherine Brogan is a poet who makes the personal, political and the political, personal. She’s performed at Edinburgh Finge, represented London on the Radio 4 UK Slam, won the Belfast Poetry cup and Farrago Best Slam performer, two years running.

Catherine hosted the Feminism in London After party, and gave us a dynamic mix of talks, performances and music to get us pondering, partying and pulling together.

Cynthia Cockburn

Cynthia CockburnCynthia Cockburn is a feminist researcher and writer working at the intersection of gender studies and peace/conflict studies. She is a visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at City University London. She is involved in the international feminist antimilitarist networks Women in Black against War and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Read her blog: http://www.cynthiacockburn.org/

Cynthia chaired the Global women’s movement panel.

Charmaine Elliott

Charmaine ElliottCharmaine Elliott is a tireless champion of women’s empowerment and is actively involved in the voluntary sector, working with organisations such as the Women and Girls’ Network and helping to establish the Black Feminists group in London. A recent addition to LFN, Charmaine is making her debut at the 2010 Conference.

Charmaine co-faciltated the Space to Recover workshop.

Marie-Claire Faray-Kele

Marie-Claire Faray-KeleMarie-Claire Faray-Kele, mother of two daughters, is a research scientist in infectious diseases. Actively involved in the voluntary sector, campaigning for peace, human’s rights and women’s participation and representation in decision making arena. Vice President of the UK section of the Women’s Intenational League for Peace and Freedom, where she campaigns on Violence Against Women and the implementation of UN SCR 1325. She coordinates the UK WILPF Voices of African Women Campaign and works on the road map of actions for the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020; promoting the Maputo Protocol on the rights of women in Africa.  She is an active member of the executive committee for COMMON CAUSE UK, the platform of Congolese women in the UK and a member of the Million Women Rise coalition.

Marie-Claire Faray-Kele spoke on the Global women’s movement panel.

Rebecca Finlay Hall

Rebecca Finlay HallIn 2006 Artistic Director Becky Finlay Hall set up Olive Branch Theatre. Her vision was simple, to work alongside a team of socially and politically like- minded Actors and Facilitators and create work within the community that’s main aim was to engage, entertain, educate, debate and question.

In 2008 Associate Director David Stothard came on board and Olive Branch began to expand. Alongside their committed team of Actors and Facilitators the company strongly believe in the transformative power of Theatre and the Arts and the importance of giving young people a voice.

In recent years Olive Branch have toured numerous schools, colleges and youth groups across the UK performing Interactive Theatre shows, delivering Workshops and providing Training.

In 2010 Olive Branch set up its first International project and in partnership with the charity Sandblast are setting up a Youth Theatre Company on SMARA Refugee Camp in Algeria.

Rebecca presented and facilitated Under pressure: An interactive play for 12-18 year olds.

Anna Fisher

Anna FisherAnna Fisher sustained herself through the tough years of single motherhood by working her way through the shelf of feminist books in Tooting Public Library. Now that her daughter has grown up, she is enjoying her new freedom and the perspective of those years of struggle and helps to bring feminism to other women by running the London Feminist Network book group and helping to organise Feminism in London.

Anna spoke in the closing session on behalf of the Feminism in London organising committee to thank everyone who helped to make the day happen.

Foleshillfields Vision Project

Foleshillfields Vision Project is a small community organisation based in a “super-diverse” and economically deprived inner city area in Coventry.  Our aims are to bring people together across divisions created by the oppressive society, particularly around the divisions created by racism and classism.  We use listening, dialogue, fun and friendliness as our key tools in building relationships and are passionate about building strong communities that will withstand the impact of the collapse of the current economic system.

More information: http://foleshillfields.org/

The Foleshillfields Vision Project  facilitated the Exploring our internalised prejudice workshop.

Aisha Gill

Dr Aisha Gill (B.A., M.A. [Di], PhD (University of Essex)) PGCHE, is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Roehampton University. Her main areas of interest and research are health and criminal justice responses to violence against Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BMER) women in the United Kingdom. She has been involved in addressing the problem of Violence Against Women (VAW) at the grassroots and activist levels for the past twelve years. She is a member of ‘End Violence Against Women’ group (EVAW); WNC United Nations Advisory Group; invited advisor to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) strategic support group on investigations and complaints involving gendered forms of violence against women in the UK; member of Liberty’s Project Advisory Group; Chair of Newham Asian Women’s Project (2004-2009); member of Imkaan.

Dr Gill has extensive experience of providing expert advice to government and the voluntary sector on legal policy issues related to so-called ‘honour’ killings and forced marriage, and has challenged politicians to be more inclusive of BMER women’s voices in policy-making on issues of gender-based violence and human rights. Her current research interests include the following: rights, law and forced marriage; gendered crimes related to patriarchy; so called ‘honour’ killings and ‘honour’-based violence in the South Asian/Kurdish Diaspora and femicide in Iraqi Kurdistan; missing women; acid violence; post-separation violence and child contact; trafficking; and sexual violence. She has also published widely in peer-reviewed journals and is currently co-editing a book entitled ‘Forced Marriage: Introducing a social justice and human rights perspective’.

Aisha was a panelist in the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.

Ceri Goddard

Ceri GoddardCeri Goddard is the CEO of the Fawcett Society. Before joining Fawcett, as Acting Director and Head of Practice and Development for the British Institute of Human Rights, she led the development of a range of national initiatives to bring human rights to life in areas such as healthcare, education, tackling poverty and strengthening the impact of third sector campaigning and advocacy. Prior to this Ceri worked for the UK’s Community Development Foundation and Irelands Combat Poverty Agency where she developed programmes to strengthen the voice and influence of equality and social justice organisations in national and EU policy making and on the cross broader Peace and Reconciliation programme.   Ceri is also former chair of the Women’s Resource Centre and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. A committed feminist, the promotion of women’s equality and human rights has always been a core part of Ceri’s work – academic, voluntary and professional.

Ceri chaired the opening session, which was on the theme of “Women in Public Life”.

Anna Gomberg

Anna GombergAnna Gomberg lives in Brixton and works as a science teacher at a school in Croydon, She has been involved with the London Feminist Network since summer 2009 when she read “The Women’s Room” by Marilyn French which inspired her to join in with feminist activism. After attending Feminism in London 2009 she joined the committee for the 2010 conference.

Anna co-hosted the Dealing with the pressure: A space to reflect, create and express workshop for 12-18 year olds.

Rahila Gupta

Rahila GuptaRahila Gupta is a freelance journalist, writer and activist. She is a longstanding member of the management committee of Southall Black Sisters. She is also a trustee of Clean Break theatre company which works with women ex-offenders and chair of the Nihal Armstrong Trust, a grantmaking body to families of disabled children.  She has edited and contributed short stories, poems and political essays to various anthologies. She wrote Provoked, the story of a battered woman who killed her violent husband with Kiranjit Ahluwalia and co-wrote the screenplay which was based on the book and released as a film in 2007. Her last book, Enslaved, on immigration controls was published in 2007. She writes for The Guardian and other newspapers and websites. She is currently under commission from the University of Newcastle to write a play on stem cell research and public engagement.

Rahila spoke in the opening session, which was on the theme of “Women in Public Life”.

Virginia Heath

Virginia HeathVirginia Heath is a multi award winning writer, director and cross platform producer with New Zealand and UK nationality.  Her short film Relativity (10’) won ‘Best Short Film’ Prix UIP Berlinale at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for the European Film Academy Awards.

Virginia directed Point Annihilation (30’) in her native New Zealand starring Bruce Hopkins (Gamling, ‘Lord of the Rings’) co-produced with Peter Jackson’s company Weta Digital.  Point Annihilation screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2005 in ‘Cinema des Antipodes’, and was selected by i-Tunes, USA, as one of the first 12 shorts to pilot the i-Tunes film download site. Virginia recently won an award from the National Film Board of Canada to develop ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’, an innovative cross platform project for film, web and mobile.  The aim of the project is to create a campaign – driven by the creative engagement of the teenage audience – to inspire an imaginative artistic response to combating the sex trafficking of young people.

Virginia currently has three feature film projects in development; Mystery Ride, a contemporary relationship thriller set in New Zealand, with development funding from the NZFC; the noir thriller, Pania, a New Zealand-UK co- production, developed with funding from the NZFC and the MEDIA programme of the European Union; and Hades Bridge, an off beat Lynchian thriller developed by the Yorkshire Media Production Agency.  Her first short Deep Freeze (15’) was screened on Channel 4 TV and in festivals including London, The Hamptons, Foyle, & New Zealand.

Virginia began her film writing and directing career making arts documentaries for Channel Four TV with a strongly authored stamp, including Songs from the Golden City on South African jazz heroes, The Manhattan Brothers.  Her fiction films create powerful visual stories exploring themes of sex, love, betrayal, death and desire.

IMDB Ref No:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1141538/

Website: www.virginiaheath.com / http://www.mydangerousloverboy.com/

Virginia spoke in the opening session, which was on the theme of “Women in Public Life”.

Lindsey Hills

Lindsey HillsLindsey Hills is 25 years old and lives in West London with her 7-year old son and 4-year old daughter.  She says: “With help from the YWCA, my friends and family I now work as a administrator for a children’s centre which is attached to a primary school, and have started training for finance which means a pay rise which I am so happy about.”

Lindsey spoke about her experiences becoming a mother as a teenager in the opening session, which was on the theme “Women in Public Life”.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Helena KennedyBaroness Kennedy is a leading barrister and Queen’s Counsel. She is an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues. She is a member of the House of Lords and chair of Justice, the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists. She is a bencher of Gray’s Inn and president of the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. She was chair of Charter 88, the constitutional reform group  from 1992 to 1997, the Human Genetics Commission from 1998 – 2007  and the British Council from 1998 to 2004. She also chaired the Power Inquiry into British Democracy in 2006 and this year sees the launch of their new campaign POWER2010.  She has received honours for her work on human rights from the governments of France and Italy and has been awarded more than thirty honorary doctorates. She is an Honorary Fellow of three Royal Colleges – Psychiatry, Paediatrics and Pathology. She was elected a member of the French Academie Internationale de Culture. She has acted in many of the most prominent British criminal cases of the last thirty years including the Brighton bombing attack on the British cabinet, the Guildford Four Appeal and the Michael Bettany espionage case.  She is currently acting in cases connected to the recent wave of terrorism including the conspiracy to blow up transatlantic aircraft. She was a member of the International Bar Association Task force on International Terrorism in 2002.

She is a frequent broadcaster and journalist on the law and women’ rights. Her publications include the widely acclaimed Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice (1992 revised 2005) and Just Law: the Changing Face of Justice and Why It Matters To Us All (2004).

This year saw her become president of The Women of The Year Lunch and the Investigating Officer of the Human Trafficking Commission in Scotland.  She has just been presented with the Chambers and Partners Bar Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Helena spoke in the opening session, which was on the theme of “Women in Public Life”.

The London Profeminist Men’s Group

The London Profeminist Men’s Group has been meeting fortnightly for almost three years. The aims of our meetings are:

  • To support each other in our personal struggles as men, including our efforts to rid ourselves of sexist behaviour
  • To raise conciousness with regards to sexism in our personal lives and in society
  • To discuss issues around gender politics generally
  • To plan what actions we can take as pro-feminists

Though we are mainly a consciousness raising group, we also facilitate workshops and give talks, organize creches at feminist events, and participate in demos. In practice our group has always been a men-only group, although it has been open to anyone since the beginning.

The London Profeminist Men’s Group facilitated the Men confronting privilege, contributing to change workshop and ran the creche.

Julia Long

Julia LongJulia Long is a feminist of the hairy-legged, lesbian variety. She is active with the London Feminist Network, OBJECT and Anti-Porn London, and is completing a PhD on the re-emergence of feminist anti-porn activism. Her professional background is in teaching, the voluntary sector and gender equality policy and practice.

Julia facilitated the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.

Finn Mackay

Finn MackayFinn Mackay is a Radical Lesbian Feminist and has been active in the women’s liberation movement for over 15 years. Inspired by Greenham Common she spent nearly two years in her teens living at a Women’s Peace Camp outside an American military spy base in Yorkshire. Leaving to return to education and a degree in Women’s Studies. Finn then became more involved in activism tackling violence against women.

Her professional background is in youth work and education, most recently she spent five years in a London Borough education authority setting up and managing anti-bullying work and domestic abuse prevention education in schools.

Finn founded the London Feminist Network in 2004, which revived the Reclaim the Night march in London. She is also Co-Founder of the Feminist Coalition Against Prostitution (FCAP) and regularly writes and speaks on this issue. Finn has recently given up her day job to pursue a PhD, researching Reclaim The Night! She hopes to have even more time for activism and to get out of London more often.

Finn was a keynote speaker in the closing session.

Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina MahfouzSabrina is a poet, playwright and creative who began her career in politics and journalism but quickly realised real life was overrated; she much preferred living in her mash up of modern fairytales and magical realism.

She has recently been a winner of the Westminster Prize with her first short play, That Boy, which was performed at Soho Theatre. That Boy was included in the critically-acclaimed show End of the Line (winner of the IdeasTap Group Award) which she produced and directed with her writing collective, Knocked For Six, who formed following the Royal Court’s Young Writer’s Programme.

Her new play Crystal Kisses, concerning Child Sexual Exploitation and co-written with Avaes Mohammad is premiering at Contact Theatre, Manchester in October. Earlier in the year Sabrina dived into REMIX, a Natalie Ibu project showcased at BAC in which one of her poems was turned into a play, a dance, a fashion story and a photography collection (huge ego trip).

She is developing: a photography&poetry project with the photographer Zoe Buckman and the stylist Molly Rowe for exhibition early next year / a mini-opera for the Royal Opera House / a one-woman spoken word show / a spoken-word play on human rights with Hollie McNish.

Sabrina has read her poetry on BBC Radio 1; 1xtra; for the Radio 4 poetry slam and on stages all over the country for promoters from Apples & Snakes to Book Club Boutique, recently doing a mini-tour of her Shadow Puppet Poetry show and rocking the Poetry Arena at both Glastonbury & Latitude this summer. She has had her poems published in a number of magazines and anthologies such as Popshot, Trespass and Smoke and has been chosen to represent UK poetry as part of UKYA, ‘showcasing exceptional UK young artists’, with her poetry collective, Point Blank Poets.

She likes shadows, memories of raves, espresso martinis and creatively campaigning for OBJECT, Traid and the Egyptian Centre For Women’s Rights.

  • ‘An invaluable theatrical voice’ Ryan Romain, Associate Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • ‘Her poetry is startling, provocative and thought provoking’ Suzanne Gorman, Connect Director, Soho Theatre
  • ‘Sabrina is seamlessly at the cutting edge of spoken word’ Ctrl.Alt.Shift Magazine
  • ‘A stand alone voice amongst the gaggle of the live literati’ Inua Ellams
  • ‘Sabrina Mahfouz is one of the leading lights in the London poetry scene’ Popshot Magazine

Sabrina performed at the Feminism in London After party.

Tsitsi Matekaire

Tsitsi MatekaireTsitsi Matekaire is a Programme Manager at WOMANKIND Worldwide and is working with partner organisations in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe to implement programmes aimed at eliminating violence against women and increasing women’s civil and political participation. Before joining WOMANKIND, Tsitsi was Director of Women in Politics Support Unit, a women’s organisation in Zimbabwe providing technical support to women in Parliament and local government and campaigning for their increased representation and led the organisation’s Vote for a Woman Campaigns during the 2003 and 2005 local government and Parliamentary elections respectively. Tsitsi is passionate about women’s rights and would like to see a better world where women’s voices are heard and part of the decision making processes.

Tsitsi spoke on the Global women’s movement panel.

Hilary McCollum

Hilary McCollumHilary McCollum is a feminist activist who has worked for twenty years within the public and voluntary sectors on issues related to equality and social justice, with a particular focus on responses to targeted violence. Although her primary interest has been violence against women and girls, she has also been involved in combating homophobic and race hate crime and, more recently, violence and hostility against disabled people.

Hilary was a panelist in the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.

Shirley Meredeen

Shirley Meredeen – 80 in June  2010 – left school at 17 and went to work as a shorthand-typist. She started an Open University degree when she was  41 and completed it 12 years later after a counselling qualification and family and employment problems intervened. She worked in Further Education as a Student Services Officer and Counsellor for 18 years. She wrote a book in the HOW TO series on Student Rights and ran parenting groups for 10 years. She is divorced and widowed and has two sons and four grandchildren.

Shirley is the co-founder of the Growing Old Disgracefully Network and author of the book of same name, and co-founder of the Older Women’s Co-housing Project and is very active in the University of the Third Age.

Shirley co-facilitated the Young, Old Feminists: Getting to know each other workshop.

Heidi Safia Mirza

Heidi Safia MirzaHeidi Safia Mirza is Professor of Equalities Studies In Education and Director of the Centre for Equalities, Rights and Social Justice (CRESJ) at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK . She is known internationally for her research on ethnicity, gender and identity and uses postcolonial and black feminist theoretical frameworks to investigate social exclusion, human rights and equality issues for Black and minority ethnic women.

Her recent work explores current debates on multiculturalism, citizenship, Islamophobia and gendered violence. She is the author of several best-selling books including Young Female and Black (1992), and Race Gender and Educational Desire: Why black women succeed and fail (2009) and the seminal edited collections Black British Feminism (1997) and Black and Postcolonial Feminisms in New Times (2010). She is co-author of Tackling the Roots of Racism: Lessons for Success (2005).

Heidi led the Feminist Primer workshop.

Abi and Emma Moore

Abi and Emma MooreAbi Moore comes from a TV production background and worked for CNN for eight years as a producer. Whilst working on a project called ‘Just Imagine’, featuring visionaries with incredible ideas for the future, she made a film with American scientist, Naomi Halas, who is developing a ground- breaking treatment for cancer. On her return to the UK she was met with blanket news coverage of Paris Hilton’s release from prison, where she had been held for drink driving. At the time, 38% of children in a teachers’ survey cited Paris as their number one role model.

“I believe that our children deserve better. Many people ask me why do I care about girls, when I have two sons. My answer is simply that it is because I have sons – the husbands, colleagues, fathers of the future – that the need for real, truthful and inspiring women role models is essential, and that the fantasy femininity that is so ubiquitous in our media needs to be challenged and put right.”

As well as Founder and Creative Director of Pinkstinks and Cooltobe.me, Abi Moore is a freelance video producer making web content for charities and third sector organisations including Amnesty International, NCVO and Wood Green Animal Shelters and the NHS.

Emma Moore has worked in the voluntary sector for over 15 years in a number of high profile children’s charities and now for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Emma works in communications and marketing roles including website development and social media, design and print, magazines and editorial. NCVO’s work also covers campaigning and this has proved an invaluable source of help and guidance for Pinkstinks.

“I’ve got two young daughters who are both surrounded by messaging and images which tell them how they should look and behave and what they should aspire to be. Most worryingly I see them reacting to these messages in their behaviour, worrying about their looks and their dress at an age when they should be free. I want them and all girls to grow up free from the pressure that all this marketing creates.”

Abi and Emma won an UnLtd level 1 award for the Pinkstinks campaign in January 2009 and a Sheila McKechnie campaigners award in Septemeber 2009, in the women creating change category.

Twin sisters Abi and Emma facilitated the Feminist parenting – Challenging misogyny in society workshop.

Rebecca Mordan

Rebecca MordenRebecca Mordan, artistic director at Scary Little Girls, is an actor, compere and presenter who has conducted media and public speaking for corporations internationally as well as campaigning groups with challenging but vital issues to communicate such as CND, Abortion Rights and leading british feminist groups.

Rebecca co-facilitated the “It’s easy out here for a pimp” anti-porn slide show.

Rebecca Mott

Rebecca MottRebecca Mott is a writer, and also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, rape and prostitution. She uses her writing, both poetry and prose, to show the reality of living inside male sexual violence and the after-effects of trauma.

She began a blog in January 2008 as a response to the terrible murders of prostituted women in Ipswich, which stirred up her memories of the violence that is commonplace in the sex trade. It was sparked by her knowledge that many prostituted women and girls live in extreme violence and are often murdered, and it goes unnoticed.

She writes to be a voice of an exited prostituted woman who is able to remember and know that the sex trade is an abuse of the human rights of prostituted women and girls.

Read her blog: http://rmott62.wordpress.com/.

Rebecca co-facilitated the “It’s easy out here for a pimp” anti-porn slide show.

Chitra Nagarajan

Chitra NagarajanChitra Nagarajan is a lifelong activist for gender equality, working to promote and protect the human rights of women in China, the United Kingdom, the United States and countries in West Africa. She currently works in the West Africa programme of International Alert, as well as engages in feminist activism in the UK through setting up the black feminist network, re-starting the consciousness raising movement and helping to organise the annual Feminism in London activist conferences.

Chitra gave a short welcoming address on behalf of the organising committee at the start of the opening session, which was themed around “Women in Public Life”. She also facilitated the Space to Recover workshop.

Naana Otoo-Oyortey

Naana Otoo-Oyortey is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD). FORWARD is the lead agency in the UK working to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM). Naana works with policy makers, statutory agencies and voluntary organisations on policy and programme approaches to tackle FGM in the UK, Europe and Africa.

For the last 20 years Naana has worked in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s issues as an advocate, trainer and consultant. Naana has a particular interest in tackling gender based discriminatory practices including FGM, child marriage and sexual violence which impact adversely on the sexual and reproductive wellbeing and dignity of African women and girls.

Naana holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University.

Naana spoke on the Reproductive Health panel.

Lesley Page

Lesley PageLesley Page is Visiting Professor of Midwifery at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London, Adjunct Professor University of Technology Sydney and Visiting Professor University of Sydney. Lesley was expert adviser to the King’s Fund independent inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England that reported in Safe Births: Everybody’s Business (2008).

Lesley has had many years experience working as a senior manager in the NHS and in midwifery practice, leadership and academia in the United Kingdom and Canada. She has published widely and has lectured in many parts of the world. She was a member of the Expert Maternity Group that wrote Changing Childbirth, published in 1993, and was specialist adviser to the House of Commons Sub-committee responsible for investigating the state of maternity services in 2003.

For many years, Lesley’s research has focused on the effects of carer continuity on birth outcomes and evidence based care. Her clinical practice is in the Birth Centre and Community Maternity Service in Chipping Norton Oxon that is part of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. Together with Rona McCandlish she is editor of the well known book ‘The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice’ ( 2006) published by Elsevier.

Lesley spoke on the Reproductive Health panel.

Pragna Patel

Pragna Patel is a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) and Women Against Fundamentalism. She worked as a coordinator and senior caseworker for SBS from 1982. She is currently the chair of SBS. She has written extensively on race, gender and religion.

Pragna was a panelist in the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.


PoeticatIs it music with poetry? Is it poetry with music? Whatever it is Poeticat are a band with 4 essential elements all integral to a sound that makes them unique and refreshing.

At the forefront of this sound is the socially conscious, thought provoking poetry of west Londoner Catherine Martindale. Catherine’s messages and stories of life’s experiences give you insight into the world as she sees it.

Contradicting her words and thoughts is Isabel Medowcroft. Her experimental vocal techniques inspired by Portuguese Fado bring harmonic emotion to the sound, which enhance the power of the words being delivered.

Bringing melodies, riffs and solos to the table is south London guitarist Blake Kenrick. Blake’s eclectic musical influences shine through in his playing allowing him to mould a sound and style of his own.

Victor Medowcroft, the bands percussionist is a big fan of world music and cultures. His love for the Peruvian cajon drumming makes it his weapon of choice. Victor’s experimental playing allows him to create a pallet of sounds through one instrument giving him endless possibility’s to be the rhythmic pulse of Poeticat.

Summer 2009: Poeticat begin to work together for a sold out E4 Poejazzi event in London’s south bank called “Udderbelly”. This event marked the beginning of the band. Previous to this Catherine had been a solo poet for 4 years gaining a dedicated fan base and playing major festivals around the country such as Edinburgh, Latitude and Camp Bestival under the Poeticat name.

After “Udderbelly” the band chose the best of Catherine’s poems and began to rework them with music. They then spent the next 3 months rehearsing, experimenting and writing. After a few warm up gigs at the end of 2009 Poeticat began 2010 with a mission to play as much as they could wherever they could bringing their unique “folk n word” sound to venues all over London.

Within 4 months Poeticat were invited to play their first festival. Cosmic Puffin. Now bitten with the festival bug they embarked on a festival crusade to spread the Poeticat sound to crowds around the country. They have since played Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Beat Herder, Shambala, Nozstock and The Small World Festival. All in their first summer together.

The Band recorded a 4-track demo in the summer at Sphere Studios in Battersea London and hosted its successful launch at The Windmill in Brixton South London.

Autumn 2010 and Poeticat have embarked on a new mission, to play 100 gigs by December 31st. With 60 plus gigs to their name this year so far, they are set to achieve their goal with a celebratory night to see the year off in style.

Poeticat performed at the Feminism in London After party.

Jill Radford

Jill RadfordJill Radford is a radical feminist and member of the Campaign to End Rape. She has recently retired as Professor of Women’s Studies and Criminology and Director of the Section for the Study of Gender Violence at the University of Teesside. She is enjoying the summer, before deciding what to next.

At the University of Teesside, as well as teaching undergraduate modules on sexual and domestic violence, Jill developed short, accredited courses on ‘Understanding and Responding to Sexual and Domestic Violence’ for professionals including police, social services, health and housing workers and voluntary sector workers and volunteers from across the UK and context-specific courses were developed for other countries including Kazakstan, Turkey and Japan. While at Teesside Jill continued to work closely with the women’s voluntary sector organisations including Women’s Aid and the Rape Crisis Federation. She was a founding member of ‘My Sisters Place’ (2001) a Women’s domestic violence advice project in Middlesbrough and founding member and Chair of the Tees Valley Sexual Violence Forum, the first of its kind in the UK (2003 -)

Prior to relocating to Teesside in 1996, Jill Radford had worked for 10 years at Rights of Women, London, a feminist legal project, working around violence against women and supporting lesbian mothers in relation to residence and contact (1985-1995) and previously at the Lesbian Policing Project and the Wandsworth Policing Campaign. During this period she also taught Women’s Studies and Criminology at the Open University (London Region). As a feminist activist she was a member of Women against Violence against Women (WAVAW) London and Campaign against Pornography (CAP).

She has published widely in the area of violence against women.

Jill was a panelist in the Violence Against Women as Hate Crime? workshop.

Catherine Redfern

Catherine RedfernCatherine Redfern founded The F Word website almost 10 years ago, and was Editor for 6 years. She is co-author with Kristin Aune of Reclaiming The F Word, a book celebrating the resurgence in feminism. She lives and works in London.

Catherine, along with Kristin Aune, spoke and facilitated a discussion at the Feminism in London After party.

Yasmin Rehman

Yasmin RehmanYasmin is a freelance consultant and trainer. She is currently working on a number of research and consultancy projects in the UK and overseas, as well as delivering training for a number of public and private sector organisations.

Yasmin has worked for more than 20 years on a range of crime reduction issues predominantly violence against women and community cohesion. Yasmin has worked in the private, public (local government) and third sectors during her career. As Director of Partnerships and Diversity with the Metropolitan Police Service, Yasmin had strategic lead for Domestic Violence (DV), Violence against Women (VAW), Hate Crime and Honour based Violence (HBV). She was the Deputy Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) lead for Honour based Violence. She has also worked on a number of international projects with agencies in Sweden, USA, Canada, South Africa, India, Pakistan and most recently the United Arab Emirates.

Yasmin is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP)a member of Women Against Fundamentalisms (WAF) and a trustee of Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre and Searchlight Educational Trust (SET).

Yasmin studied Anthropology and Law at the London School of Economics and has just completed her Masters qualification in Woman and Child Abuse at London Metropolitan University. She is also working on a number of research and consultancy projects in the UK and overseas.

Yasmin chaired the Reproductive Health panel.

Wendy Richardson

Wendy Richardson of Springboard Arts facilitated the Mirror Mirror workshop for 7-11 year olds.

Katherine Ronderos

Katherine RonderosKatherine Ronderos is the Programme & Advocacy Co- ordinator of the Central America Women’s Network (CAWN). She coordinates the project ‘Challenging violence against women in Honduras, identifying the links between reducing poverty and promoting women’s rights’.

She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London South Bank University in the UK and a BSc in Economics from the St Thomas University in Colombia. Katherine has focused her work in supporting local organisations in capacity building, women’s political participation and income generation projects for women, minority and ethnic groups in Colombia and the UK.

As a Colombian based in the UK, Katherine has been campaigning to address the rights of Latin American women in areas of gender equality, women’s empowerment and participation in peace-building processes. Katherine has advocated for the development and implementation of policies for women to exercise their right to live a life free of violence at international foras, such as the UN and the EU, and is currently a trustee of the Latin America Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) and a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Katherine Ronderos spoke on the Global women’s movement panel.

Rina Rosselson

Rina RosselsonRina Rosselson was born in 1935 in Syria. She lived in Syria and Lebanon until she was 21 when she left to travel the world. She married and settled in London in 1959. The major influence in her childhood was her matriarchal grandmother, in her youth the major influence was Simone de Beauvoir and later it was the Second Wave Feminist Movement.

She is interested in the representation of old woman in the media. She obtained an MA in Film and Television Studies in 1998 and is still studying the image of the older woman in feature films. She runs an ‘Older Women in Film Group’ at the Brent University of the Third Age (U3A).

Rina co-facilitated the Young, Old Feminists: Getting to know each other workshop.

Ann Rossiter

Ann RossiterAnn Rossiter is a long-standing Irish feminist who has been involved in activities and campaigns in the British Women’s Liberation Movement and in Irish feminism in London since the early 1970s. In particular, she has been active in the support of Irish women crossing ‘the water’ to have abortions and in campaigning for the reversal of draconian anti-abortion laws in Ireland, north and south of the border. For more than twenty years she was involved with Women and Ireland groups, and the London Armagh Group which was opposed to the treatment women republican prisoners in Ireland and in Britain, especially the practice of strip-searching.

Ann taught Irish and Women’s Studies and has written a number of articles and essays on these subjects. Her book, Ireland’s Hidden Diaspora: the ‘abortion trail’ and the making of a London-Irish underground, 1980-2000 was published in 2009.

Ann spoke on the Reproductive Health panel.

Rachel Saldanha

Rachel SaldanhaRachel Saldanha is 22 years old and is a Newly Qualified Teacher from Roehampton University specialising in Science.

Rachel was the worker in charge of the 7-11 year olds activity room.

Kate Smurthwaite

Kate SmurthwaiteKate Smurthwaite has been performing comedy and arguing about politics since 2004 and has been featured on BBC One TV, BBC Radio Four, BBC Radio Five, Sky TV and many other stations. She has taken three solo shows to the Edinburgh Fringe and performed at the Glasgow, Brighton, Newbury and Bury St Edmunds Comedy Festivals as well as in France, Italy, Switzerland and across the US. She features in a forthcoming pilot for Channel Four and Comedy Central US. She is the resident compere at Soho Comedy Club in central London and the host of The Comedy Manifesto, Britain’s most popular live topical panel show.

“A powerhouse of observational wit” The Spectator

“Comedy that cuts through the crap” **** ThreeWeeks

“Reminiscent of an excitable, slightly irresponsible head girl luring impressionable fourth formers into some illicit fun. You’d have to be made of granite not to warm to her” **** National Student

“Spectacular … brilliant humour” **** Edinburgh Guide

Read her blog at: http://cruellablog.blogspot.com/

Kate was the compere for the day.

Kess Tamblyn

Kess TamblynKess Tamblyn is 17 years old, and has been writing poetry since she was 6, though she only began writing and performing feminist poetry this year. She recently won the under 16s section of Waterstone’s National Poetry Day Competition, judged by Carol Ann Duffy, and the creative section of Oxford University’s Think Kafka Competition, and is hoping to study English and German at University. This is her first time at a Feminist Conference.

Kess read her poetry at the Feminism in London After party.

Anna Travers

Anna TraversAnna Travers is a member of Mothers Against Violence (MAV), and is currently single handedly heading the MAV group in Leeds. Anna has done some powerful campaigning work, including a campaign against the computer game Grand Theft Auto, that includes glamorising gun, gang and drug crime and the vicious murdering of prostituted women. Anna is a strong survivor of prostitution, who has spoken for the last two years at the Million Womans Rise and is also a member of the Million Women Rise comittee and she uses her experiences to speak out against society’s and the media’s portrayal of the sex trade. Anna is a strong and compassionate mum of four who uses her experience, to educate people in any way she can. She has appeared on a number of TV programnmes to raise awareness of a number of everyday issues all of which she has expeienced as a result of her past.

Anna assisted with the Dealing with the pressure: A space to reflect, create and express workshop for 12-18 year olds.

Anna van Heeswijk

Anna van HeeswijkAnna van Heeswijk has been working for OBJECT for over a year and a half as their Grassroots Coordinator. She started up monthly activist meetings in London in December 2008 and has encouraged and supported the development of feminist activism across the country. This has included helping to set up a regional branch in Leeds, organising National Days of Action for activists around the country who oppose the licensing of lap dancing clubs like cafes, working with student unions to oppose beauty pageants in universities, speaking at trade union and student union events and conferences about the links between objectification, the mainstreaming of the sex and porn industries and sex discrimination and violence against women, and instigating monthly national Feminist Fridays to develop grassroots activism around the issue of lads’ mags. She has organised and run protests outside the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, the Lap Dancing Association Awards Ceremony and the Spearmint Rhino Christmas Party and has spoken at political rallies and marches to object to the sexual objectification of women’s bodies and to call for an end to sexism.

Anna co-facilitated the “It’s easy out here for a pimp” anti-porn slide show.

Natasha Walter

Natasha WalterNatasha Walter is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. She is the author of Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism. She is also the founder of Women for Refugee Women.


Natasha spoke in the closing session.

Anne Welsh

Anne WelshAnne Welsh is Lecturer in Library and Information Studies at University College London and a member of the collection management group of the Feminist Library. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing (University of Newcastle) and writes poetry that has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies. She is currently working towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (UCL) and has run writing workshops for teenagers at the Essex Poetry Festival (2009 and forthcoming 2010) and for adults at Essex Poetry Festival 2008, the Women’s Liberation Movement @ 40 Conference and the Feminism In London Midsummer Feminist Party.  She posts weekly writing prompts to http://annewelsh.tumblr.com.

She co-hosted the Dealing with the pressure: A space to reflect, create and express workshop with Anna Gomberg, using activities developed from activities during her nine years as a volunteer with the Guide Association and Anna’s experience as a secondary school teacher.

Jan Williams

Jan WilliamsJan Williams became a feminist when she went to work as the first female Freight Supervisor for British Rail and was told no-one would train her because she was taking a man’s job. She went on to run management courses for BT and Cadbury Schweppes, who made her redundant when she told them she was pregnant. Jan was heavily involved with the Campaign Against Pornography at this time, campaigning and demonstrating against porn-culture events.

Two years later, in poor health, she found herself single parent of a new baby and hyperactive toddler, with no family or ex-partner support. She eventually found parenting courses which helped her a lot, so she re-trained and designed and ran parenting courses so that she could be around for her kids as they grew up. She also trained to work with children with learning difficulties. Jan raised her son (now 17) and daughter (now 15) as Feminists.

Jan’s courses include Raising Boys, Raising Girls, Sibling Conflict, Managing Anger, and Managing Teenagers. All have a feminist slant. She has run them for Gingerbread, Parentpack, and Haringey Families.

Jan facilitated the Feminist Parenting: Practical Skills workshop.

Articles in this series