FiLiA meets: Huschke Mau


Huschke Mau is a German woman who was in prostitution for a long time.
She´s a writer, an activist and doing her PhD. Her biography in her own words:
-           Was born

-           Experienced heavy violence in childhood

-           Ran away at 17

-           Has been in prostitution for many years

-           Survived rape, prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide attempts

-           Attended university

-           Writing her PhD right now

-           Founder of Netzwerk Ella, the only prostitution survivors group in Germany

-           Activist for the Nordic Model since 2014

Huschke will be speaking at the FiLiA Conference in 2019.



FiLiA meets: Houzan Mahmoud


HOUZAN MAHMOUD  is feminist activist, public lecturer and co-founder of Culture Project,  a project formed to raise awareness about feminism and gender in Kurdistan and diaspora.  She is also editorial board member of Culture Magazine, a quarterly publication published in Kurdistan/Iraq. She has an MA in Gender Studies from SOAS, London University. She was born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1973 and currently resides and works in London. 

She is the winner of 2016 Emma Humphrey’s Memorial Award and One Law for All’s Secularism Award for 2018 for her tireless work in defense of women’s rights and secularisation of Kurdish society.

Houzan is scheduled to speak at the FiLiA conference in 2019 on Kurdish Women’s Experiences and Political Alternatives. For this podcast, she is joined in conversation with Heather Brunskell-Evans.

FiLiA meets: Vandana Aparanti


Vandana Aparanti is an anti-caste activist and expert in the field of oppressed caste women’s rights. She is co-founder and the Chair of STOP gender based caste oppression, one of the only women’s organisation raising awareness about caste discrimination in India and the UK. Vandana has been into active campaigning to bring caste legislation into British law, participating in protests and events around the issue. Vandana has spoken at a number of events about human rights violations on oppressed caste women.

Vandana holds a Masters in Sociology and is currently working as a Domestic Violence Officer in a well-known BME charity in London.

Vandana is speaking at the FiLiA Conference in 2019.

FiLiA meets: Jennifer Lahl


Ms. Lahl is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics.

Lahl made her writing and directing debut producing the documentary film Eggsploitation. Her other films include  Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, which focuses on surrogacy, Maggie’s Story, which follows one woman’s egg donation journey. Lahl’s latest feature film is #BigFertility .

Jennifer Lahl will be at the FiLiA Conference in 2019 on the panel about surrogacy. Heather Brunskell-Evans joins her in conversation for this podcast.


International Campaign to StopSurrogacyNow

Follow Jennifer Lahl on Twitter

Read the book Broken Bonds: Surrogate Mothers Speak Out

FiLiA meets: Fiona Broadfoot


Fiona Broadfoot is a sex trade survivor, having been trafficked into prostitution at the age of 15. Fiona spent 11 years entrenched in the violent world of prostitution. she has since worked to raise awareness of the harm it causes to young people and their families. She was a close friend and fellow campaigner of Irene Ivison, the founder of PACE (formerly known as CROP), and was instrumental in the setting up of CROP in 1996, alongside her own organisation, EXIT, which was formed offer support to women exiting prostitution. Fiona travelled the country with Irene, campaigning, speaking about her own experiences, at conferences and on television, challenging the public and professional perception that young people involved in CSE were ‘prostitutes,’ who had chosen that ‘lifestyle’. Irene sadly, died in 2000, but Fiona had the strength and commitment to carry on the fight, alone. This was at a time when CSE was not recognised as a child abuse issue, but Fiona did not let this deter her.

She went on to become involved in training professionals and working with young people at risk of, or being, sexually exploited. She could speak directly to young people, using the credibility given to her by her own personal experience.  

Fiona has also continued to campaign on the issue of violence against women and girls. She has spoken at many national and international conferences, impressively for the last 3 years at the United Nations in New York and has advised government policy in both Ireland and Scotland. She is a fierce proponent of the Nordic model and is a member of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment). She is an inspirational communicator, who can change attitudes through the power and passion of her public speaking. She is also selfless in telling her own story, sometimes at much personal cost, to demonstrate the reality of being a victim and survivor of prostitution abuse. She can communicate effortlessly and effectively with victims, survivors, professionals and those in power. She has spent her life combatting sexual abuse and violence.

Fiona recently achieved a place on the highly competitive Lloyds School for Social Entrepreneurs and has now started her own social enterprise called the ‘Build a Girl Project’. The Project is firmly based on a survivor led perspective and is deeply committed to supporting and empowering victims and survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse and challenging the normalisation of sexism and misogyny that girls and young women are often faced with and constrained by.

For the FiLiA conference in 2019, Fiona will be opening the event, leading the March Against the Sex Trade and chairing a panel on the sex trade.

Support Build A Girl HERE




FiLiA meets: Louise Tickle


An award-winning freelance journalist, Louise specialises in education and social affairs. She has written extensively on domestic abuse, the effects of poverty on children’s education and child protection.

She has a particular interest in family courts and the care system, and is a member of The Transparency Project which aims to promote greater understanding of family law.

In 2017, Louise was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain's Social Evils for her work on the BBC One film Behind Closed Doors and her Guardian reporting on domestic abuse. In 2016 she was also shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism, and was joint winner of the Bar Council’s Legal Reporting Award. She has won a number of CIPR Awards for outstanding education journalism, and has twice been winner of the Rosemary Goodchild Award for Sexual Health Journalism run by Brook and the Family Planning Association.

She is joined by FiLiA’s Sally Jackson for a discussion on this podcast and will be speaking at the FiLiA Conference in 2019.

Louise’s Website

FiLiA meets: Sammy Woodhouse


Sammy Woodhouse describes her story like this:

“I am an author, public speaker, campaigner, fundraiser, consultant & assisting in training throughout the UK. My greatest achievement, I am a mum to 2 beautiful boys. I am also a young woman rebuilding my life after I was groomed and abused mentally, physically and sexually as a child and throughout my adult life.

In July 2013, I contacted Andrew Norfolk at The Times newspaper and handed over evidence that proved I was abused and failed by authorities. My story was published, naming the man that abused me, Hussain and the deputy leader of Rotherham council in August 2013. This triggered the Alexis Jay report, which exposed 1,400 children being abused and failed in Rotherham. A police investigation (Operation Clover & Operation Stovewood) was also launched into my abuse and into all non-recent child abuse cases in South Yorkshire making it the biggest investigation in the UK.

In February 2016, after testifying in court, Hussain was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison alongside 5 others, for a total of 102 years. Four trials in total under Operation Clover & Thunder, 21 survivors, 20 criminals and a total sentencing of 290 years 6 months.

As an award winning campaigner, I have campaigned for improvements around counselling services, better national funding, mandatory education, licensing policies and Sammy’s Law.

As a campaigner I am trying to bring awareness and make changes at a national level.”

Sammy Woodhouse Website

Twitter & Facebook

Read Sammy’s book - Just a Child: Britain’s Biggest Child Abuse Scandal Exposed

FiLiA meets: Nicole Jacobs

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Nicole Jacobs has been named as government’s designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner

Nicole has been the CEO of charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence for the last 6 years and has more than 25 years’ experience supporting women subjected to abuse.  During her career, Nicole has worked in a number of roles, including a frontline practitioner, in senior operational and management roles, and as a trainer and strategic leader.

The role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner will lead on driving improvements on the response to domestic abuse in the UK, championing victims and making recommendations on what more should be done to better protect victims and bring more offenders to justice

Nicole said “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as the first Commissioner and I intend to raise the voices of victims and survivors of all ages, status and background and ensure that we shine a light on practice that fails them.”

The news was warmly welcomed by the sector with messages of support praising her leadership, integrity, ability to listen and ability to raise the voices of survivors.

FiLiA is delighted to welcome such a great feminist to the role.

FiLiA meets: Rina


This podcast contains sensitive information, which some listeners may find distressing.

FiLiA is honoured and humbled to be able to share this important, brave and honest conversation with Rina. She introduces herself like this:

“I am Rina. I am a public speaker, advocate and campaigner for Domestic and Honour Abuse and the impact abuse has on our mental health.

Having been on the receiving end of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, psychological and honour abuse.... and surviving, and having my own struggles with mental health, as a direct impact of trauma. I now share my journey, as well as assisting in the delivery of training to professionals, business's and the general public on these issues, in order to raise awareness, educate and impact change.

I also support and help other survivors on their journey to a life free from abuse and the family court process as well as being a volunteer champion at a local Domestic Abuse charity.”

Twitter: RinaC110306

Instagram: xRed80x

Contact information for help or advice can be found from the following national agencies/charities:

Women’s Aid (Domestic Abuse Support): 0808 2000 247 (24h helpline). and

Samaritans (Mental health & Suicidal Behaviour Support): 116 123 (24 hours)

Karma Nirvana (Honour Abuse & Forced Marriage Support): 0800 5999247 (Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm)

Rape Crisis UK:

Mind (Mental Heath Support):

Freedom Programme:

FiLiA meets: Nancy


This podcast contains sensitive information, which some listeners may find distressing.

FiLiA is honoured and humbled to be able to share this important, brave and honest conversation with Nancy. She introduces herself like this:

“Hi my name is Nancy I am 63 years old and I've been abused since I was 8 years old. I have gone through many bad times, until I found out that there were people that could help and believe in me. I am now 3years free off any abuse xxx”

Contact information for help or advice can be found from the following national agencies/charities:

Women’s Aid (Domestic Abuse Support): 0808 2000 247 (24h helpline). and

Samaritans (Mental health & Suicidal Behaviour Support): 116 123 (24 hours)

Karma Nirvana (Honour Abuse & Forced Marriage Support): 0800 5999247 (Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm)

Rape Crisis UK:

Mind (Mental Heath Support):

Freedom Programme:

FiLiA meets: Daniela Nadj

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Daniela Nadj, LLB, LLM, PhD is a graduate of Queen Mary, University of London, Cornell University and the University of Westminster. She has been a lecturer in Public Law at Queen Mary. Daniela’s research interests are in the fields of international criminal law and human rights, feminist legal theory and housing. She is the author of the recently published book Women, Wartime Sexual Violence and Interpretation of Gender in the Contemporary International Criminal Trial, published by Routledge in 2018.  FiLiA’s Julian Norman joins Daniela in conversation for this podcast.

E-mail Daniela:

Sign the Every Woman Treaty

FiLiA meets: Ailbhe Smyth

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Ailbhe Smyth has been active in LGBTIQ, feminist and radical politics for many years. She was head of Women’s Studies at UCD from 1990 until 2006 when she left the university to work in the community sector. She was centrally involved in Ireland’s successful the Marriage Equality campaign in 2015. A co-founder and Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment, she co-directed the victorious Together for Yes national campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment and legislate for women’s right to choose in Ireland. She was on the Time Magazine list of the '100 Most Influential People' this year. She is joined in conversation with Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans.

Follow Ailbhe on Twitter

FiLiA meets: Renate Klein


Dr Renate Klein is a Swiss-Australian biologist and social scientist. She has been a feminist health activist and academic since the 1980s and was a founder of FINRRAGE (Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering). She is the (co)author and  (co)editor of 15 books on radical feminist theory and critiques of biotechnological procedures. Her most recent books are Surrogacy. A Human Rights Violation (Spinifex Press, 2017, translated into German as Mietmutterschaft. Eine Menschenrechtsverletzung; Marta Press, 2018) and Broken Bonds. Surrogate Mothers Speak Out (Spinifex Press, 2019, co-edited with Jennifer Lahl and Melinda Tankard Reist).  She is also an original signer of and a founder of ABSA – Abolishing Surrogacy (Australia).

Renate will be speaking on the panel Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation at the FiLiA conference in October 2019. For this podcast she is joined in conversation by FiLiA spokeswoman Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans.


Read Renate’s books Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation and Broken Bonds: Surrogate Mothers Speak Out




FiLiA meets: Sarit Bloom - Women Wage Peace


Sarit Bloom is a member of the group Women Wage Peace (WWP), which started in November 2014 after Operation Protective Edge, also known as the 2014 Gaza war. WWP is the largest grassroots movement in Israel that strives to promote a political agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sarit explains the history of the group, their aims and why it is so vital to involve women in every aspect of the peace process.

Women Wage Peace Website

Women Wage Peace Worldwide Supporters Facebook Group

Pieces for Peace

1325 From Theory to Practice Women Wage Peace Talk Security

Donate to Women Wage Peace

Pray the Devil Back to Hell: the remarkable story of incredible Liberian women who came together to bring peace to their country

FiLiA Meets: Merly Åsbogård

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Merly Åsbogård is a wonderful feminist who will be speaking at the FiLiA conference in 2019. She describes herself like this:

”I administrate a support group online for women with experience of different kinds of abuse.

“I'm the woman behind the account Viskans Viol on Instagram. The account is used to raise awareness of prostitution, men's violence against women and bodypositivity. I hold lectures about the same and write on my first book as we speak.

“I believe in changing the attitude and general discourse when it comes to how we perceive the people in prostitution the people buying people in prostitution. When it comes to prostitution as with many problems in society we need to keep tearing down the patriarchy. Keep questioning the men's rights to a woman’s body. How can vulnerability be allowed to be a commodity for men to buy? Work towards the Nordic Model.”

Merly shares the following link:

@Viskans Viol

FiLiA Meets: Julie Furlong

Original artwork copyright of Lou Almond (2019)

Original artwork copyright of Lou Almond (2019)

Julie Furlong is a lesbian feminist activist, who is part of a group of proud lesbian women organising the Lesbian Strength March in Leeds on 7th September. The day will include a march for lesbian women from 2pm, followed by a rally for lesbian women and all female supporters. She speaks to FiLiA volunteer Zoï Hélène in this podcast about topics including what lesbian feminism means, why supporting this event is so important, and Anne Lister.

Julie would like to share the following links:

Lesbian Strength March GoFundMe

Eventbrite page: Lesbian Strength March

Lesbian Strength on Facebook

Twitter @strengthlesbian


Leeds Resisters

Resisters United

Magdalen Berns YouTube

Campaign to End Leeds Sex Trade

FiLiA meets: Zainab Ali Khan - Every Woman Treaty

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Zainab Ali Khan is a Gender & Research Specialist with 10 years of work experience in the Development and Corporate sectors of Pakistan. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in English Literature and a minor in Women’s Studies. Furthermore, she also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Women and Gender Studies. Ms Ali Khan extensively researched honor crimes in Pakistan for her dissertation entitled, “Honor Crimes in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the Zina and Qisas & Diyat Ordinances”.

She is the author of a number of case studies, success stories, reports, and magazine. As a women’s rights activist who feels very passionately about gender equality, Ms Ali Khan has had the opportunity to speak about women’s empowerment in Pakistan and internationally. She is also part of the working group and steering committee of Everywoman Treaty, an NGO and initiative of Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights, to build a stand-alone global treaty on violence against women and girls.

Sign the Every Woman Treaty

Welcome to the FiLiA Podcasts


Dear sister,

We hope you enjoy these podcasts. We are honoured and humbled to be able to share the voices of incredible women, particularly those less-often heard. You can subscribe to our show and download our episodes on platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn and Acast. These important conversations may contain content which is not necessarily representative of the views of FiLiA as a charity, but we believe in women being able to express themselves in their own words. Let us continually be inspired and challenged as feminists, in awe of the power of women. We are thankful for all the wonderful women involved in these podcasts: our guests, interviewers, our editor... and you, dear listeners.

In sisterhood and solidarity,

The FiLiA Team

FiLiA meets: Jody Raphael


Jody Raphael is Senior Research Fellow, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Law Center, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois. She has been researching in the areas of prostitution and human trafficking since 2001 and is the author of four books on violence against women with particular emphasis on denial. In this interview, she discusses her article “Decriminalization of Prostitution: The Soros Effect” with Heather Brunskell-Evans. Jody explains the Soros position on prostitution, its relationship to neoliberalism, the issue of how research is used, the funding involved, and what feminists can do.

Read Jody’s article “Decriminalization of Prostitution: The Soros Effect”

Read about this podcast in Dignity Journal

Dignity Journal

Read Jody’s latest book, Rape Is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis

FiLiA meets: Maryam Namazie


Maryam Namazie is a political activist, campaigner and blogger. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah - Movement for Women's Liberation, Equal Rights NowOne Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). Maryam is an inveterate commentator and broadcaster on rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and many other related topics. She is producer and host of Bread and Roses TV broadcast in English and Persian via New Channel TV and deemed ‘immoral’ and ‘corrupt’ by the Islamic regime of Iran. She is joined in conversation by Sadia Hameed, FiLiA and CEMB spokeswoman.

Attend an event!

4th July 2019: Evening on LGBT+ rights and apostasy, London

31st Aug - Sept 1st, 2019: Celebrating Dissent Festival, De Balie in Amsterdam