Lesley Abdela

Lesley Abdela, Women’s Rights campaigner, Senior Partner Shevolution Consultancy, Journalist and Broadcaster. Lesley has boots on the ground experience working to promote women’s rights in over 40 countries in the Middle East and Africa, Central and South Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans including Iraq, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Kosovo. She spent much of this year in Turkey training Civil Servants how to mainstream Gender into EU funded projects. She was Senior Gender Advisor to the UN agencies in Nepal (2007/8). Board Member of the British Council 1995-2000. In 1980 she founded the all-Party 300 GROUP campaign to increase the number of women MPs and local councilors. The 300 GROUP helped to change the attitudes of citizens, politicians and Media towards women in politics andpioneered many of the training and advocacy campaigning techniques for women’s political empowerment adapted and used around the world today. In 1999 Lesley helped start the Kosovo Women’s Network one of the strongest advocacy groups in Kosovo comprising 77 women’s organisations and in 2001 50/50 Group Sierra Leone which won the National Democratic Institute 2007 Madeleine Albright Award.

Lesley has written for: The Guardian, Times. Sunday Times, The Independent, the Washington Post, OpenDemocracy and CNN on-line. She was appointed political Editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine in the 1990s - the first time any British women’s magazine had a Political Editor.

Author of a number of books and guides including 'Where are the Women?’ a practical Gender Guide for  Journalists in the Arab World reporting on Elections/Constitutions/Security System Reforms. Published by  Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (2013). ‘Women with ‘X’ Appeal’ - interviews with over 30 British politicians. Published by Macdonald Optima. (1989)


  • Women and Men Inspiring Europe 2014 Calendar - The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
  •  Voted by New Statesman Magazine readers 34th out of ‘50 Heroes of Our Time’. 2006

§  1996 ‘UK Woman of Europe award’ for work with women future leaders in politics in 11 Central and Eastern European countries in the Transition period to democracy.

§   Awarded MBE for work on women in politics and public life. 1990

§  Nancy Astor Media Award for article in The Times newspaper about sexism in theBritish House of Commons 1989 

Guest on TV and radio programmes including: BBC Radio 4: ‘Any Questions’, ‘Great Lives, 4 a Good Read, Woman’s Hour, BBC TV Question Time’, ‘The Midnight Hour‘, ‘Have I got News for You’.

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