Speaker’s Bios

More about the Speakers and Workshop Leaders at Nottingham Women’s Conference 2014 

Aurelie Lacomtesse

Aurelie has come to the UK to gain midwifery skills that are disappearing in her country. She has worked as a midwife in different settings. She is passionate about continuity of care and true informed consent being accessible to women. She has had 3 different births going from a c-section to a freebirth.

Bea Campbell


Beatrix Campbell is a feminist, an award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster, campaigner and playwright.  Her involvement with the women’s liberation movement began in the 1970’s.   Her main interests are the community, crime politics, child abuse, and aboriginality and land rights.

Dr Phoebe Abe

Dr Abe was born in Uganda. She attended Medical School at Makerere University but had to abandon her studies when she arrived in the UK as a refugee. She completed her degree at Manchester University Medical School.
General Practitioner in the UK, single mother and a widow herself, she is now an associate member on the APPG(All Parliamentary Party Group) on FGM, to the delight of her wonderful children.
Dr Abe began her charity work in 1992 in the then rather unstable Northern Uganda; she has continued her work till the present day. The work undertaken in Uganda is with young people, especially widows, single mothers and orphans.
She has also set up small charity groups under, DR ABE FOUNDATION, 100 BLACK WOMEN in the UK, FAW (Female genital mutilation Association Worldwide) and MAMA (Mon Acholi Maro Awak)

Esther Parry


I’ve been kicking up a feminist fuss since secondary school, and I have MA Women’s Studies. My main area of interest/expertise is Gender. I’m a writer, and have been involved in feminism all my life, but becoming a mother radicalised me even further (I now consider myself a radical maternal feminist). Earlier this year, I founded All Mothers Work, a Maternal Feminist organisation and website for like-minded women who reject the notion that mothering and caring is of low worth, or that it upholds gender stereotypes, and who see immense feminist potential in the way motherhood creates a women-only space within life which can opt you out of capitalist and patriarchal value systems. www.allmotherswork.co.uk”

Femi Otitoju


Equality and Diversity Trainer, facilitator and lifelong feminist, Femi works to unravel the patriarchy from within its boundaries, daily entering the fray by working within organisations large and small across the private, public and voluntary sectors. She shows companies and individuals how to recognise and tackle institutional sexism and inspires them to play their part in creating a more equal society.

Frances Ryan


Frances Ryan is a comment and features journalist for The Guardian and New StatesmanShe writes predominantly on disability, benefit cuts, and feminism and pops up discussing them on radio, TV, and political events. She is also researching social mobility at The University of Nottingham.


Julia Long


Julia Long is a lesbian feminist. She teaches Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University, and is the author of Anti-Porn: The Resurgence of Antipornography Feminism (Zed, 2012)

Julie Bindel


Julie Bindel, described in official student union documents as ‘vile’, fascist’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘horrible’ is a human rights and feminist campaigner, journalist and researcher. She will outline the latest, very effective tactics to shut down feminism.

Karen Ingala-Smith 


Karen Ingala Smith is a middle-aged Yorkshire-Sicilian woman and proud working-class feminist.  She has worked in charities supporting women and children who have experienced male violence for over 20 years.  She blogs, mainly about male violence against women but also about inequality, feminism and occasionally other issues, at kareningalasmith.com.  You can follow her on twitter at  @K_Ingalasmith and @countdeadwomen

Louise Pennington


Louise Pennington is a radical feminist writer and activist who works as the media analyst at Ending Victimisation and Blame. She also runs A Room of our own a feminist & womanist women only blogging network.

Mel Tibbs


Mel Tibbs has been on the sharp end of mothering for fifteen years.  During that time she’s always had a passionate interest in the politics of parenting; reading, researching, writing and lobbying for the maternal feminist cause.  She is part of All Mothers Work as well as the campaign group Mothers at Home Matter

Monica Schwartz


Monika Schwartz has over 30 years’  experience, in partnership working and managing joint initiatives with a range of stakeholders including  women and BAMER communities on a borough-wide, London-wide, national, European levels as well as in Africa.

A co-founder of Women and Medical Practice in the mid-80s which pioneered work around domestic violence and culturally sensitive counselling for women

Her former post was Chief Executive of Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre the leading organisation for therapeutic work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural communities in the UK.

She is currently the Chief Executive of the Women’s Therapy Centre which has provided high quality individual and group psychotherapy for women since 1976.

Nicky Grace


Nicky is an independent midwife working in the East Midlands. She supports women’s choices in childbirth and is an advocate for home birth. She is a steering group member of the Association of Radical Midwives.


Valentine Nkoyo


Valentine was born in Maasailand, in Kenya, She came to England in January 2009 and took a creative writing and film-making course at York St John University for a term.

In September 2009, Valentine won the Inspire International Scholarship from the university, which allowed to her finish the rest of her business degree in York at York St John.

She has done a variety of activism including establishing the Mojatu Foundation to support social change through media and to support girls and working on a project to raise awareness and support girls and women through training in the UK to educate the public on matters of FGM, women discrimination, education and importance of empowerment.




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