Yasmin Rehman is a freelance consultant and doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her area of research is polygamy and the law. She has worked for more than 20 years predominantly on violence against women, race, faith and gender, and human rights. Yasmin has worked for Local Government, the Metropolitan Police Service as Director of Partnerships and Diversity (2004-08) during which time she also held the Deputy national lead for forced marriage and honour based violence. Yasmin has most recently been commissioned as founding CEO of a race equality charity in East London, followed by Transforming Rehabilitation bid and now reviewing police responses to domestic abuse for national charities. Yasmin is currently member of the Board of EVAW (End Violence Against Women Coalition), an Independent Adviser for City of London Police and a member of the Centre for Secular Space.
Naomi is the founder of London Rolfing and a certified Rolfing® practitioner, yoga teacher and massage therapist in London and Luton and will be leading the relaxation rooms during the conference. www.londonrolfing.com
Megan Walker is the Executive Director of the London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC) in Canada. She is a radical feminist who walks the talk. Megan is a strong and effective human rights advocate particularly for the rights of abused, prostituted and sex trafficked women and girls.
Megan was an active participant in the development of Canada’s new prostitution legislation consulting with Members of Parliament and Senators in the year leading up to the passing of Bill C 36. Megan represented LAWC’s abolitionist policy at hearings before both the Parliamentary and Senate Committees.
Megan is a recipient of the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The London Abused Women’s Centre was the 2012 recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General Victim Services Award of Distinction.
Claire Heuchan is a Black radical feminist based in Scotland. She volunteers with Glasgow Women's Library, promoting the words and achievements of women with the aim of challenging widespread social inequalities. A fresh voice in the feminist movement, Claire recently started blogging as Sister Outrider. Her writing offers a distinct perspective on feminism and popular culture. Claire is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Gender Studies at the University of Stirling, specialising in the subject of Black British feminism. Both as an activist and an academic, Claire is devoted to mapping the intersections between sex and race.
Helen Pankhurst is a women’s rights activist and senior advisor to CARE International, based in the UK and in Ethiopia. Her work in Ethiopia includes support to program development across different sectors, focused on the interests and needs of women and girls.
In the UK she is a public speaker and writer on feminist issues. She also leads CARE’s International Women’s Day march in London https://walkinhershoes.careinternational.org.uk/womens-day-walk/
Helen is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement. @helenPankhurst
The Older Feminist Network (OFN) was formed in 1982 as an initiative from Spare Rib magazine’s collective and has met regularly ever since.
We felt that the larger Women’s Liberation Movement wasn’t giving sufficient attention and value to the experiences and needs of older women.
Many of us have experienced ageist attitudes and behaviour in the movement as well as in society generally. We are making links with younger and older women in other organisations and in other countries by exchanging newsletters and information to counter the negative stereotypes of older women in society and to challenge the combined ageism/sexism which older women experience. We also act in solidarity with younger women.
Katie Spark is a writer, facilitator and support worker based in London, whose work focuses on gender and sexism. She is currently developing safe spaces where women can share their experiences of everyday sexism and explore coping mechanisms together. Katie also organises participatory political events on social justice issues across London as part of the Brick Lane Debates.
A third-generation female activist, Esther Parry grew up in a socialist family where debate, protest, campaigning and charity work were the norm. Her first feminist complaint was in kindergarten and she's been involved in fighting for girls and women ever since, including getting MA Women’s Studies in 1999.
Since becoming a mother in 2011, her focus has been on the specific inequalities and prejudices facing stay at home mothers and carers. In 2014, she founded the campaign group All Mothers Work, combining activism with public speaking about topics such as the exploitation of unpaid female labour, and running its website, where she explores stereotypes about mothering, issues concerning mothers and children and other feminist topics, and puts forward AMW’s radical anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist agenda for the way mothering should be viewed, valued and acknowledged economically, legally, socially, and culturally. In addition, she writes anonymously on various subjects for other feminist websites, and is currently setting up a network of maternal feminist activists with other groups and individuals. She is also a writer, but best of all, as a SAHM, she gets to spend most of her time with her favourite person (speciality: foolhardy art projects).
Siana Bangura wears many hats. She is a prolific blogger, writer, freelance journalist, public speaker and all round creative sort hailing from South East London via Freetown Sierra Leone. Always with her fingers (and fiercely manicured talons) in many pies, the next project is never too far away. Having read History at the University of Cambridge, she graduated in 2013 and went on to found No Fly on the WALL, an Intersectional Feminist blog, centring the voices of Black British women and Black women living in the UK. In October 2014, Siana was assistant producer for one woman show, Fierce, by Kathryn Griffiths, which hit the stage at Camden People’s Theatre to much critical acclaim. She is also a spoken word performer and public speaker and in 2015, Siana was the in-house poet and presenter for Versified Life, a short-lived socially conscious online spoken word series. She also recently became a semi-finalist of the 2015 Roundhouse Poetry Slam. Siana has performed on stages and at events in the UK and in Germany, including The Roundhouse; Poetry Meets Art at Passing Clouds; Underbelly; and festivals such as ClitRock, Fem Solidarity Fest, and Matchwomen; as well as other notable events, including the launch of the Ain’t I A Woman Collective and the opening of the Black British Girlhood exhibition. She performed at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany in April 2015 as part of their inaugural Women in International Leadership conference.
Siana has worked with Channel 4; BBC 1 and BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra; Sky TV; The Guardian; TES; Buzzfeed; and has written for The Metro; The Evening Standard; Huffington Post; the Cambridge Tab; The Cambridge Student; Varsity; Tank Magazine; SE15 Paper; Gender Agenda; STR!KE Magazine; Socialist Appeal; and is a regular voice over at Media Diversified and MiGREAT Africa to name just a few. She has also written for Nu People Magazine, The Body Narratives, and Contemporary Other.
A lover of books and literature, she founded the Liberated Reading Book Club on Facebook and has co-founded an up-and-coming Afro-Caribbean publishing House called Kamaria Press, due to launch in November 2015.
Not content with the current discourse on her country of origin, Siana founded the Salone Collective – a collective of young Sierra Leonean creatives, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and doers, who will be rewriting their narrative as children of the Diaspora.
Other current projects include: producing one-woman show, ‘Womb’, due to hit stages in Birmingham in 2016; writing a play about Sierra Leone for 2017; planning an exhibition for October 2016, and producing and presenting an up-and-coming documentary investigating police brutality in the UK after the death of Sheku Bayoh.
Siana also runs her own digital and social media consultancy – Haus of Bangz Digital – which opens for business in September 2015.
And finally, Siana is working on her first book – a collection of poetry due to be published in May 2016.
Oh… she once starred in Channel 4’s Living With The Amish… to the amusement of many and the dismay of her mother.
Gudrun Schyman, www.schyman.se, is one of the founders of the political party Feministiskt initiativ, www.feministisktinitiativ.se. She has a professional background as a social-worker and has been active in both the anti-nuclear movement and the national and international peace movement.
She was previously a member of the Left Party and as such also a member of the national parliament 1988-2003. She was party leader from 1993-2003, when she left the Left Party. Feministiskt initiativ started officially 2005 and has since then developed into a feminist and antiracist movement that in last election gain seats in 13 local parliaments and 1 seat in the European parliament. Gudrun Schyman is since 2010 a local politician in Simrishamn (hometown), member of the national board of Feminist initiativ and one of two party leaders. Her professional work is educating and lecturing in the area of gender equality and nondiscrimination, www.maktakademin.se
Nawal Slemiah is a Palestinian speaker & campaigner. She is also the co-founder & director of Women In Hebron, an embroidery co-operative based in the West Bank that specialises in creating authentic Palestinian handicrafts.
Since 2005 Women In Hebron have proved to be a unique source of education, income & empowerment for Palestinian women living in Hebron under Israeli occupation.
Learn more about Women in Hebron here
Director of IMECE Women’s Centre since 2009. Previously managed Community Development Programme in Hackney. Between 1998 and 2005 she assisted establishment of many refugee women’s groups by providing support on governance, fundraising and policy development. An activist who was part of a collective that produced Turkish feminist Journal called Dirdir, and produced three handbooks for frontline practitioners on Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. Graduated with a degree in Sociology from University of London, Goldsmiths College and with MA Diploma in Urban Regeneration from Westminster University. She is chair of Islington Refugee Forum and member of many strategic boards. www.imece.org.uk
Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD)
Margaret Owen is a Barrister specialising in human rights, with a particular focus on the needs and rights of widows and wives of the disappeared especially in conflict afflicted Countries. She is Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD) , a Founder member of GAPs-UK and a Patron of Peace in Kurdistan. She is also a member of the UK CSW Alliance and regularly participates at the annual UN CSW in New York. She has recently returned from her second visit to Rojava, the democratic administration of Syrian Kurdistan
Finn Mackay has been involved in feminist activism for around twenty years, beginning in the Women's Peace Movement in the early 1990s. Finn founded the London Feminist Network in 2004 which revived the London Reclaim the Night. After a career in Youth Work and Local Government, where she developed training and education on domestic violence prevention, Finn moved into academia, completing her PhD on the British Women's Liberation Movement. Finn is now a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of England. A proud Ambassador for the Worker's Educational Association, Executive of the Feminist & Women's Studies Association and a Trustee of The Feminist Archive. Finn's book on feminist activism in the UK is published by Palgrave - 'Radical Feminism: Feminist Activism in Movement'
Dr. Munazza Yaqoob is EX. chairperson of Department of English, female campus, and founder and incharge of the Critical Thinking Forum (CTF), International Islamic University, Islamabad. She is SUSI fellow for Multinational Institute for American Culture and Society, New York University, New York. She is the author of two books and numerous research papers published in national and international journals.She has presented papers on a number of national and international forums and has organised three international conferences and more than hundred seminars, discussion sessions and round tables on various themes such as women empowerment, consciousness raising, indigenous feminism, diversity and social harmony, interfaith and intercultural understanding and environment . She is member of the Faculty Board, Board of Studies and Research committee of the university. Currently she is working as Project Director of two years grant project on " Consciousness Raising of Pakistani Women on Academic and Social Issues" and as member of Steering Committee for three years partnership between International Islamic University Islamabad and University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA.
"Role of Critical Thinking Forum in Raising Pakistani Women's Critical Consciousness"
Like other South Asian societies the current social scenario of Pakistan is also dominated by critical and serious socio-political and cultural issues such as terrorism, extremism, globalization, gender issues and environmental issues. The mainstream debates and dialogue on these issues are mostly carried out by male politicians and civil society. There is a lack of opportunities for young educated women in Pakistan to voice their concerns on these important issues and occupy an effective place in mainstream politics and socio-cultural activities.
This situation weakens the efforts employed to empower women in Pakistan. Women empowerment can be worked out if women themselves step forward and engage themselves seriously in theory as well as theoretically well-informed activism for collective critical voice and appearance in political and socio-cultural scene of the country. There are many ways to work out and among them which can be very effective is establishment of platforms to promote, facilitate and train women and direct their research and activism towards empowerment of women in their society.
Critical Thinking Forum (CTF) is one such platform which serves to train young women researchers and academicians to utilize their research and knowledge and confidently, participate and raise their well informed voice in mainstream political, socio-cultural academic debates and dialogue. CTF serves as a platform for educated women's collective critical voice which is well-informed of global and local trends and issues. CTF promotes educated women who find opportunity to enter higher education so that they can pave way for the higher education of other women and help them raise their critical consciousness. In this way young educated women through CTF platform are trained and supported to occupy space in prominent voices of civil society and educational policies. Thus the mission of CTF is to empower women through education, research, debates and dialogue.
Huma Munshi survived a forced marriage ten years ago and has written about her experiences and campaigned to raise awareness. She has been published in the Guardian, the Feminist Review Journal and Media Diversified. Huma has run workshops with psychologists and campaigners to ensure survivors get the support they need to leave and lead dignified lives.
Vanessa Olorenshaw is a writer and blogger on issues relating to women and mothers. She is a feminist, a lawyer (once) and law reporter until she had her children. Not that you would know it: she’s busy at home raising her two children doing the hardest job she has ever done for no reward, no recognition and against all societal and political pressure to liberate herself from the ‘burdens’ of motherhood. And happy for it. Having been dragged on marches as a child and raised by trade union lefties, she suspects that activism is in her blood.
She is the author of The Politics of Mothering, a political Pamphlet.
She probably has snot on her sleeve.
Dr. Emily Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and genetics, with a Triple First in Natural Sciences from Queens' College Cambridge and a PhD in cancer research. She also trained and worked as an actress, and now combines her skills as a science broadcaster and educator; teaching maths and sciences at all academic levels and explaining science for a wide range of TV and radio programmes and at live events. She is also a passionate advocate for gender equality in science.
In June, Emily took part in a debate on Sky News regarding the controversial Tim Hunt story on gender equality in science. Her appearance prompted a barrage of sexist and misogynistic comments on YouTube and Twitter, documented here in this blog: http://www.endmisogyny.org/solidarity-with-dr-emily-grossman/
Emily is the resident science expert on ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show and a member of the panel of experts for Sky1's celebrity panel-show Duck Quacks Don't Echo, hosted by Lee Mack. She has appeared as a science expert on ITV's This Morning, Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped, Sky News, BBC1's The One Show, and London Live’s Not the One Show, and she has been interviewed on Radio 4’s Last Word, Radio 5 live’s Daily Bacon, BBC World Service’s Newshour and LBC Radio. She is also a regular guest on the Guardian Science Weekly podcast and is the voice of Oxford University Press’s online resource, MyMaths.
Emily has hosted events, chaired discussions and given talks for The Royal Society, The Academy of Medical Sciences, The Royal College of Physicians, The Royal Institution, The Royal Statistical Society, the Maths Hubs Annual Conference, Cheltenham Science Festival and the Women of the World Festival. She has performed at Science Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre and has given talks and run workshops in many schools.
Emily is also a freelance communication and media skills trainer, a trainer for the Famelab International Science Communication Competition, and a judge for the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition.
I am an exited prostituted woman, who did indoors prostitution from aged 14-27. I now write a campaigning blog - Rebecca Mott/ Exited Woman's Exploration. In this blog, I write as an abolitionist and explore the long-term trauma resulting from prostitution. I am also the co-founder of Sex Trafficking Survivors United, an international group of exited people from the sex trade who are abolitionists and campaigners.
Kirsten Hearn is a long time blind lesbian feminist activist. Snarling at the patriarchy and agitating for inclusion since 1980,; she is founder member of Sisters Against Disablement; Women’s tape over; Feminist audio Books, and an active member of a raft of other disability, women’s and LGBT rights campaigns.
She seeks to cast all she does in a feminist light, believing that women’s struggle speaks to the experiences of all other marginalised groups. Liberation for one group must not come at the sacrifice of another discriminated against group’s rights,. As best she can, she has applied these principles through singing, songs, writing and performance.
Out in the world she has been a board member of Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police Authority; EHRC Disability Committee; the chair of Inclusion London and the vice chair of the Consortium of LGBT CVOs. Currently she bends her energies for change as a Haringey Labour Councillor; An Independent Member of the Parole Board; and as a member of the board of Stay Safe East, a pioneering disabled people’s organisation dedicated to campaigning against DV and hate crimes experienced by disabled people.