Esohe Aghatise joined Equality Now in October 2014 as an Anti-Trafficking consultant. Ms. Aghatise is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of human trafficking whose work spans Africa, Europe and international bodies. She has been a jurist, legal advocate, service provider, lecturer and expert on the issue for several UN agencies, and has taught at the UN Crime and Justice Research Institute, the Norwegian Police University College, the University of Benin, Nigeria and the University of Turin, Italy. Ms. Aghatise has received numerous honors for her work, including from the European Institute for Gender Equality, the Nigerian government and the US State Department, and was appointed a United Nations Expert on Trafficking in 2002. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Associazione Iroko Onlus (IROKO), a non-profit that works to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children, with a special focus on the elimination of the trafficking and exploitation of women and children in prostitution. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and is a member of the International Women Leaders Forum. Ms. Aghatise holds a Masters in Law (LLM) from the University of Benin and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bergamo and the University of Turin.
Karem is an immigrant. Immigration taught her the art of walking alone and opened her eyes to the boundaries humans put between each other. Karem is a mother. Motherhood taught her to respect the wisdom of her body and opened her eyes to the extreme social denigration of women’s bodies and women’s work in the home.
Before working as a full time mother, Karem earned a DPhil in Development Studies from Oxford and worked as a lecturer and consultant. While she still enjoys her academic work (which now happens after everyone is sleeping), she values the intense learning motherhood is granting her, and treasures being able to love her children as they need it.
Karem’s non-academic writings have appeared in Mothers At Home Matter, La Leche League, and karemama.blogspot.co.uk. She is currently working on a work of fiction a new blog.
Cat Crossley works at HarperCollins Publishers and co-ordinates a discussion group about diversity and inclusivity in the content of educational resources. With a background in language and literature, she has a particular interest in putting feminist language into practice, and - when she's not busy picking fights with the patriarchy - loves fencing, afternoon tea, and writing feminist sonnets.
Dr Catherine Sangster is a sociolinguist with research interests in language and gender/sexuality and geek culture. She has been involved in feminist and LGBT activism for many years. Her professional specialism is phonetics, and after several years in the BBC Pronunciation Unit she is now Head of Pronunciations for Oxford Dictionaries.
Becky is a first time campaigner, but long term activist. Working as a community artist both as a freelancer and for various companies, she uses the arts as a creative engagement tool to explore important issues with community groups, this includes, gender equality, sexual exploitation and masculine identity. Working across photography, theatre and film; her focus is creating innovative, community engaged art, powered for social change.
However, a few months ago after reading about the creation of a 'Jack the Ripper Museum' in East London, after a deceptive application process, her activism became more direct action. She started a petition which now has over 8500 signatures and has since been rallying support to shut down the misogynistic enterprise.
Find more details and sign the petition here:
Tessa is a campaigner for gender equality, and joined the Let Toys Be Toys campaign in early 2013 after being fed up with seeing gendered labels on toys and books marketed to her young child. After Let Toys Be Toys convinced over a dozen major UK retailers to drop the gendered signs in their toy aisles in 2013, they launched the Let Books Be Books campaign on World Book Day in 2014, in collaboration with Letterbox Library booksellers, and to date nine publishers have now agreed to stop publishing the gendered titles. The team has also developed classroom resources for challenging stereotypes in schools, and the Toymark award scheme which recognises retailers who market toys and books to children in an inclusive way.
A stalwart of the women’s movement in the UK Femi is the founder and Training Director of the Diversity and Inclusion training company, Challenge Consultancy and Co-Chair of Women’s Aid.
Over the past thirty years Femi has assisted a great a huge range of organisations implement their equality and diversity strategies through the design and delivery of bespoke training programmes, policy and strategy development. She also writes and produces training videos. Challenge Consultancy
Ceri Durham is the newest trustee of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS), which has been advocating for women's rights during childbirth and the maternity period for over 50 years. AIMS believes that if women's views, experiences and decisions were made a central feature of all maternity care, this would bring about safer
births for all women and their children. AIMS empowers women to make their birth decisions by providing independent support and information about maternity choices, raising awareness of current research, and campaigning for the protection of women's human rights in childbrth.
Ceri lives in Tower Hamlets where she is an active local campaigner and patient-user representative. She describes her role as being split into two – the complaining activist and the compassionate supporter: spending much of her time telling anyone who will listen about the perilous issue of women’s choice and birth autonomy in the UK today, whilst also having
the joy of running various birth-groups supporting women as they make their choices and plans for their birth.
Ceri's view is that even where autonomy and human rights are protected in theory, the women she supports tell a different story. Thankfully though, even where there have been difficulties with the birth, inadequate care or other undesired outcomes, the wonderful birth stories full of joy and laughter from women who have had empowering andlife-affirming births, makes her know that this is a campaign worth fighting for.
Letterbox Library is a 32 year old women's co-operative. We're a children's booksellers specialising in anti-sexist, inclusive and diverse books. We have collaborated with Let Toys Be Toys on their fantastic LetBooksBeBooks campaign and are looking forward to cofacilitating their workshop. We'll also be sharing a stall with them on Saturday. see you there!
Sonia I. Farooq is working as a Lecturer in the Department of English, Female Campus, International Islamic University, Islamabad. She is also coordinator, Critical Thinking Forum, IIUI. She has done her M.Phil in English Literature and has presented papers at various national and international conferences. She is currently pursing PhD English from Royal Holloway University of London. Her research interests include Comparative Literature, Current Issues in Literary Theory, Postmodern Studies, Cultural Studies, Literature and Ideology, Feminism, Consumerism, Ecocriticism, Peace Studies, Task-based Language Learning and South Asian Fiction in English etc. She is also member of ICLA Congress, International Comparative Literature Association (AILC, Association Internationale De Litterature Comparée) and CLAI, Comparative Literature Association of India.
Kristyan Robinson has been practising meditation for 15 years and teaching for four. She teaches at Hope House and the Terrence Higgins Trust as well as facilitating at her weekly sangha, the Buddhist Recovery Sitting Group. Kristyan is also a yoga teacher and an artist.
Nidhi Goyal is a disability, gender and sexual rights activist from India. committed to changing lives of women with disabilities, her work spans research, writing, training, campaign, and advocacy - across languages, geographies, impairments, and other forms of marginalization. She is the co-author of www.sexualityanddisability.org and along with her online and offline advocacy efforts, she has also advocated for policy and legislative changes towards inclusion of women with disabilities. She has collaborated with organizations in India and across the world: Point of View, CREA and AWID to name but a few, that have recognized her expertise and dedication, and supported her efforts. She is regularly called upon at the national, regional and international levels to participate in training modules, academic endeavors, and efforts towards the inclusion of women with disabilities within other advocacy movements. You can follow her work @saysnidhigoyal
Recorder Angela Rafferty has defended or prosecuted in many of the most high profile, sensitive and complex cases in East Anglia and London. She is recognised as a leading junior in her areas of practice and has been described as ‘one of the most formidable advocates seen in recent times’ by those who instruct her regularly.
She was called to the Bar in 1995 after studying at Trinity College, Cambridge and working within the University of Cambridge at the Wren Library and the Shipping Law department of Clifford Chance.
In 2014 she became involved in the training of Registered Intermediaries at City University. She lectures on the role of counsel and the function of cross examination. She participates in the assessment process of candidates in relation to court proceedings. She has been involved in enterprises to encourage children from deprived backgrounds to enter careers in the law for some time and continues her voluntary and mentoring work despite an extremely busy practice.
She has been involved in a number of working parties responding to Government Consultation processes including the Homicide Act and currently the approach to Vulnerable Witnesses within the trial process.
Her case load includes matters involving paedophile abuse, child abuse imagery, group and serial sex offending, rape in a domestic setting, human trafficking for the sex trade, complex multi jurisdictional prosecutions of multiple offenders and historic abuse cases. Angela was the Lead Prosecutor in R v Mirga & others (the Peterborough Gang child exploitation ring case) which involved nine defendants aged 32 to 13 on multiple charges of rape, prostitution and sexual assault.
Angela was appointed a QC in 2015.
Felicity Gerry QC was called to the Bar in England and Wales in 1994 and took silk in 2014. She is also admitted to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory of Australia. She has been recognised in the UK Legal 500 as a “Fearless and effective advocate” and “Tenacious in court” and “An expert in the field of sex offences” and in Chambers and Partners UK as “A vastly experienced advocate noted for her experience in serious sexual cases, homicides and frauds”.
At the independent Bar, Felicity has prosecuted and defended in numerous cases involving major, serious and complex crime, often with an international element. This has included cross-jurisdictional rape, murder by foreign nationals involving evidence obtained from abroad, conspiracy to import illegal immigrants and international fraud. Her significant trial and appellate experience has also led to an expertise in online offending in the context of online abuse and exploitation, money laundering and online fraud. She has, for example, used data and metadata as evidence in criminal cases.
Since 2013, Felicity has also held a research active post in the School of Law at Charles Darwin University, in the Northern Territory of Australia, focussing on transnational criminal law and human rights, particularly in the context of violence against women and girls and the rule of law online. She currently lectures in advanced crime, evidence and contemporary issues and is Chair of the Research and Research Training Committee and recently taught Masters students at De La Salle University in Manila. She has coordinated the legal clinic, launched a pilot innocence project and has a grant funded project on women’s health and the law together with Menzies School of Health.
Felicity is also co-author of The Sexual Offences Handbook (2nd Edition 2014) that sets out all the English law, practice and procedure from 1957 to date in this difficult field of law and has a dedicated chapter on online offending. She regularly publishes in the broadsheet and legal press as well as peer reviewed papers. Felicity has published papers on human trafficking, female genital mutilation, advocacy with vulnerable witnesses and global cyber law in the context of human rights. She recently provided a report for the ILRC of the American Bar Association Justice Defenders Programme on the draft cyber law for Cambodia. Her research into the global law on human trafficking recently enabled her to assist transnationally in the reprieve from execution of Philippine national Mary Jane Veloso.
She is on the Professional Board for Computer Law and Security Review and Halsbury’s Law Exchange, on the management committee of The Advocates Gateway, and is the Public Officer for Corrugated Iron Community Arts.
She is a popular speaker and can be followed on twitter @felicitygerry
Kai Green is a theatre dramaturg and ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign: the largest global movement of men and boys collectively advocating for an end to violence against women. As a dramaturg, he works with theatre companies and artists on allowing the social and political dimensions of their performances to be realized. Through documenting, running workshops and producing resources – most recently as the dramaturg for the ‘Women@Rada’ collective - he aims to develop a feminist framework through discussion, research, and workshop participation. He was most recently a speaker at the Women’s Leadership Conference in Bremen, Germany.