Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality, WWAFE 2013 Seminar Series
Freedom and the Women - Women's Rights Local, Global, Universal
A Seminar Series on Women's role, rights, leadership, power & liberty
Seminar 3: ‘Women in Action - Women's Movements Free Women, Free The World!'
London, House of Lords, Westminster - Patron: Baroness Gould - 24.10.2013.
Committee Room 1 – 5.30pm for 6pm-8pm
Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality (WWAFE)
Baroness Gould, life Peer and Head of the Women's National Commission, is hosting a free and open WWAFE seminar this Wednesday 27th June in the House of Lords.
The first chair of WWAFE was Elizabeth Sidney, a lifelong equalities campaigner who was awarded an OBE for services to women. Remarkably intelligent, she was awarded a scholarship to Oxford aged 16. She finished her English degree in two years and then studied for a masters degree in Psychology from Birkbeck. She founded the Mantra Consultancy group in 1979, which counted the Bar Council and Marks and Spencer amongst their clients. Before becoming chair of WWAFE, she was president of the WLF, of the International Network of Liberal Women, a member of the UK Gender Export Group on Trade, and was a long standing board member of UNIFEM. Elizabeth sadly passed away in April 2011, aged 87.
The patron of WWAFE is now Baroness Gould.
Aside from her work with WWAFE, Baroness Gould is
the chair of the Women's National Commission,
president of the Family Planning Association, and
vice-president of the Electoral Reform Society.
Seminar 3: ‘Women in Action - Women's Movements Free Women, Free The World!'
Women activists have organised, spoken out, spoken up, stood up, argued, acted, suffered and survived in the hopes of a better world for women, making a better world for all.
Despite notions that there are ‘waves' of women's activism and women's movements, truth is otherwise.
Never ever has there been a time when women have shut up – whether being silent through not speaking, or ‘staying home'.
During the darkest times of (lack of) enlightenment, women have stood strong against notions of women being seen and not heard, or not even seen.
Every advance, whether in freedom of speech and movement, rights to decent paidwork, rights to equal pay, rights to decent industrial conditions, saving the planet, striving for peace – all have been waged by women, for women and for the world.
All have been spearheaded by brave, courageous, indomitable women who would not give up.
Who refused to believe it was possible to fail.
In the words of Susan B. Anthony, all these women knew, all these women know ‘Failure is impossible.'
Jocelynne A. Scutt
Barrister & Human Rights Lawyer, Visiting Professor, University of Buckingham, Cambridge, United Kingdom / Melbourne-Sydney, Australia
Political Activist, Campaigner & Blogger, Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women's Liberation.
Communications Officer, Make Every Woman Count.
Research Director, The Destree Institute, Head & Founder, Millennia2015.
Director, Filmmaker & MA (Film) University of Melbourne, Australia.
Author & Campaigner.
A political activist, campaigner and blogger, Maryam Namazie is Spokesperson for Fitnah - Movement for Women's Liberation, Equal Rights Now, One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She works closely with Iran Solidarity, which she founded, and the International Committee against Stoning. She initiated an International Day to Defend Amina and the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar 2012-2013 and helped launch the Manifesto for a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa. Maryam Namazie is a Central Committee member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran; a National Secular Society (NSS) Honorary Associate; an Honorary Associate of Rationalist International and an Emeritus member of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil. She was awarded Journalist of the Year at the Dods Women in Public Life Awards in 2013; selected one of the top 45 women of the year 2007 by Elle magazine Quebec; awarded the NSS' 2005 Secularist of the Year; selected ‘Iranian of the Year' by Iranian.com readers in 1997 and 1998; International Rescue Committee medal recipient (1988); and received the Julia B. Friedman Humanitarian Award in 1987. Amongst other activities, Author of numerous articles on women's rights issues, free expression, political Islam, and secularism, Maryam Namazie co-authored Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All, Equal Rights (One Law for All, June 2010) and Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right (One Law for All, August 2011). ‘When the Hezbollah came to my School' appears in 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists (Wiley-Blackwell, October 2009).
Tandekile (Tandi) Pilani is Communications Officer at Make Every Woman Count, a UK-based young African-led organisation promoting the empowerment and rights of African women and girls. She holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies, her thesis focussing on the gendered problem of child malnutrition in the under-5 age group in South Africa. Beginning her career at the Food Standards Agency as a Scientific Officer, in 2005 Tandi Pilani joined the charity sector and works for an organisation providing emotional and practical support to victims and witnesses of crime. Her role at Make Every Woman Count involves identifying potential donors, workshop facilitation and collaborative desk research for publications. Representing the organisation at international conferences in the past, Tandi Pilani's passion for human rights and social justice is demonstrated by her on-going commitment to issues related to gender, livelihoods and poverty alleviation. In her spare time she likes to engage in knitting and travelling to places of historical interest.
Marie-Anne Delahaut is president and CEO of the Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation, a foundation of public interest whose goal is to realize the activities of the Millennia2015 foresight research process for women's empowerment, equality between women and men, respect for human rights, promotion of the human capital and of digital solidarity in order to empower women (www.millennia2015.org). Director of Research at The Destree Institute, located in Brussels, Belgium, Marie-Anne Delahaut is head and founder of Millennia2015 "Women actors of development for the global challenges", a massive world-wide online consultation with women activists, intellectuals, commentators and grassroots workers from the global North and South, who have commented on and shaped responses to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In concert with this, she and the Destree Institute organised a major Millennia2015 conference, bringing together these participants in Paris at UNESCO. This major conference – at which Marie-Anne Delahaut presented the declaration and statement from Millennia2015 composed from world-wide online contributions - saw participants from the South and North gathered together to advance the ideas and perspectives of Millennia2015.
Director, Filmmaker and MA (Research) University of Melbourne VCA – Victoria College of the Arts, Australia is a filmmaker passionate about women's stories and committed to ensuring that these stories – and women's lives – are recorded on film for posterity. Karen Buczynski-Lee (MA (Film - Research) University of Melbourne VCA) is a filmmaker who is passionate about women's stories and the importance of ensuring that these stories are told through film for now and the future. Her MA took as its theme the vitality of the Australian Woman's Movement in the struggle for the vote, focusing on Vida Goldstein, the first woman in the British Empire to register to stand for a parliamentary seat – in the 1903 Australian federal election. In the course of her research, Karen Buczynski-Lee (re)discovered a slim volume written and edited by Vida Goldstein which had been ‘lost' in the stacks of the State Library of Victoria. Due to her urging, the Victorian Women's Trust reprinted the volume which has now gone through several reprints as ‘the most successful' venture of its kind that the Victorian Women's Trust has sponsored. Karen Buczynski-Lee was one of the first women to graduate in film from (then) Swinburne Institute (now a part of the VCA), where her major film project was judged ‘top' of her graduating year. Following a diverse career in publishing children's books, advertising, a stint in SBS (Australia's Special Broadcasting Service – radio and television), she made freelance films before returning to formal study by enrolling in the MA. Amongst other activities, together with Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt, Karen Buczynski-Lee has filmed the stories of women jam makers telling of their time in the IXL jam factory in Hobart, Australia where they made jams for the war effort – sent to troops in Europe in World War II.
An anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist campaigner and author, Selma James was raised in a movement household and joined CLR James' Johnson-Forest Tendency at age 15. From 1958 to 1962 she worked with him in the movement for Caribbean federation and independence. In 1972, she founded the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and in 2000 she helped launch the Global Women's Strike which she co-ordinates. She coined the word "unwaged" to describe most of the caring work mainly women do, and the term has since entered the English language to describe all the work without wages of women, children and men, in the home, on the land, in the community . . . In 1972, Selma James co-authored the women's movement classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community. In 1975 she became the first spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes, and she is a founder member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (2008). Addressing the power relations within the grassroots movement for change, organizing across sectors to undermine divisions of sex, race, age, nation, etc., South and North, Selma James lectures in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the US and other countries, she has worked with the Venezuelan Revolution since 2002 and her publications include Sex, Race and Class: The Perspective of Winning (2012), The Ladies & the Mammies: Jane Austen & Jean Rhys (1983) and The Milk of Human Kindness (co-author, 2005).
The WWAFE Seminar chaired by Baroness Gould, the House of Lords and Westminster Abbey.
Photos: Ian Beckerton, WWAFE, and Marie-Anne Delahaut (c) Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation
Fondation Millennia2025 Femmes et Innovation
Organisation dotée du statut consultatif spécial
auprès du Conseil économique et social des Nations Unies
(ECOSOC) depuis 2019