Lesley Abdela Explained
Lesley Julia Abdela MBE Hon D.Litt, Citation|publication-date=17 November 2008|year=2008|title=Birthdays|periodical=The Guardian|publisher=Guardian News and Media|issue=51448|pages=35|issn=02613077}}) is an international women's human rights campaigner and gender/post-conflict specialist who has worked for over 25 years in the fields of gender development. She is an international expert on the advance of women in Politics and Public Life. She has worked as an adviser in 40 different countries, to both governments and IGOs (United Nations, OSCE),NGOs such as the IOM, and the European Commission.In March 2009 she won the UK Woman Political Journalist of the Year Award. The awards’ organisers and sponsors include The House Magazine, Dod's, Whitehall & Westminster World, Psychologies, and the Civil Service Network. Voting was by the Parliamentary Press Lobby, Members of the House of Commons, and Members of the House of Lords. http://www.womeninpubliclifeawards.co.uk/winner2009.htmlPast winners include the BBC’s Financial Editor Stephanie Flanders (2008), and the Guardian's columnist Polly Toynbee (2007).
Lesley Abdela was born in London and was educated at Queen Anne's School, Caversham, the Chatelard School, Les Avants, Switzerland, Hammersmith College of Art and Building and the London College of Printing, now part of the University of the Arts London.
Lesley Abdela lives in Burwash, East Sussex.
Lesley Abdela is widely considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of gender and is an award-winning journalist. She has received many awards, including the UK Woman of Europe award for her work seeking the empowerment of women in Central and Eastern Europe. She was also the first Political Editor of Cosmopolitan in 1993. Recently, Lesley Abdela was voted into the New Statesmans poll "Top 50 Heroes Of Our Time." See http://www.newstatesman.com/200605220016. She was chosen July 2007 United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs European Alumni of the Month www.exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.htm)
Lesley Abdela has also recently appeared on BBC Radio 4's programme Great Lives discussing the life and achievements of Millicent Fawcett, the British suffragist.
Lesley Abdela was in Kathmandu for six months to March 2008 as a gender adviser to the United Nations’ Humanitarian programmes in Nepal. Her work has included on-the-ground stints in Kosovo (OSCE), Aceh (IOM), Iraq (USAID) and Sierra Leone (DfID/British Council). Gender/Post-Conflict activities: Lesley Abdela was the keynote speaker at the War Crimes Conference – Retrospectives and Prospects, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, February 19/20/21 2009. Her talk concerned 'Women's Justice versus Peace' and protecting women witnesses in the lead-up to the trial, at the time of the trial, and after the trial - is justice for women often ignored in an attempt to achieve peace at any price?
Lesley Abdela is Senior Partner in Shevolution, a gender equality consultancy; Chief Executive of Project Parity, a non-partisan NGO working to increase the proportion of women in politics, with particular emphasis on the developing world; a partner in consultancy Eyecatcher Associates; and co-founder (with Tim Symonds) of the all-party 300 Group for women in politics and public life.
Articles and papers
- Aceh Gender Review and Strategy – IOM Reintegration Programme for former combatants and former political prisoners. (2006)
- 'Communication skills manual for women in politics' – Funded by EU. Published by KETHI, Greece. (2005)
- 'Sexual violence in wars and conflicts' – paper for SOLON, Nottingham Trent University. (2005)
- 'Promoting women's Participation in Peace and Security Processes - Operationalising UN Security Council Resolution 1325'. Joan B Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. San Diego University, California USA 18 – 20 November (2004)
- 'The importance of making sure women are included in local and national governance immediately after conflict '. chapter for book :'Women and War' . Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. (2003)
- 'Iraq – mainstreaming gender into elections.' Briefing guide for RTI Iraq Local Governance Programme. (2003)
- Handbook for Kosovo advocacy NGOs - How to liaise with the Media. KNAP/EWMI Co-author with Tim Symonds. (2003)
- 'Invisible women – Iraq'. Article published in The Times as "No place for a woman". (27 April 2003)
- 'Iraq - Where are the women?'. Article published in the Washington Post. (20 July 2003)
- 'Mainstreaming Gender considerations into Foreign Policy'. Background Briefing Paper – UK Government Foreign and Commowealth Office. (2001)
- 'Development, Women, and War. Feminist Perspectives' Contributor to York University PCRU publication. (2001)
- 'The Changing face of humanitarian action – learning from Kosovo' Uppsala University, Sweden (2001)
- 'Sierra Leone - women in politics, NGOs and the police in the aftermath of conflict.' Research analysis and strategy. British Council. (2000)
- 'Kosovo - Missed Opportunities – Lessons learned'. Report (1999/2000)
- Book: Abdela, Lesley. Do it! : walk the talk : a practical guide for employers on how to change the gender culture in the workplace. 1995. Metropolitan Authorities Recruitment Agency. Solihull. 1-874025-30-4.
- Book: Abdela, Lesley. What women want : a guide to creating a better and fairer life for women in the UK. 1994. The Body Shop.
- Book: Abdela, Lesley. A strange old mother : no press pass for women’s magazines. Violations of rights in Britain ; 15. 1994. Charter88 Enterprises. London. 1-873311-99-0.
- Book: Abdela, Lesley. Tim Symonds (ed.). Breaking through the glass ceilings. 1991. Metropolitan Authorities Recruitment Agency. Solihull. 1-874025-99-1.
- Book: Abdela, Lesley. Women with X appeal : women politicians in Britain today. 1989. Macdonald Optima. London. 0-356-17184-1.
- Book: Symonds, Tim. Lesley Abdela. Stay healthy while you travel. 1988. Columbus Press.
Archival sound recordings
Fifty-six reels of audio recordings reflecting Abdela's experiences in Kosovo 1999/2000, attached to the OSCE, to Nepal 2007/2008, attached to UN OCHA, via Sierra Leone (British Council), Iraq (RTI/USAID), Afghanistan and Aceh (IOM), were recorded by Imperial War Museum archivist Lyn Smith during 2008.
Lectures and speeches
- 'Women in Afghanistan – six years on' – NATO HQ Brussels March 2007
- 'Women in Iraq' Swedish Armed Forces International Centre Conference. 2007
- 'Strategies for Gender and Development in Ukraine.' 7th International Postgraduate Conference. Keynote talk School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London, –16 February 2006
- 'Gender and Civil-Military Relations: Moving Towards Inclusion? An essential tool for developing Stability and Reconstruction in post-conflict scenarios.' NATO Civil Military Co-operation Centre of Excellence Conference, Netherlands. 2006
- 'Promoting women's Participation in Peace and Security Processes - Operationalising UN Security Council Resolution 1325', Joan B Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.San Diego, California USA 18 - 20 November 2004
- 'The Role of Gender in post conflict Civil Military Co-Operation' – Seminar on Civil Military Co-operation (CIMIC) and Coordination 'The Way ahead' - Swedish Armed Forces International Centre, Sweden. 2004
- 'The Changing face of humanitarian action – learning from Kosovo' Collegium for Development Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden 2001 (Subsequently published as a paper)
- 'Women, War and Peace-Building.' Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit, University of York 2001
- 'Increasing the interaction and understanding between NGOs, Governments and the Military for effective development of peace and democracy.' Women in the Armed Forces in NATO Annual Conference 2000, Brussels
- 'Post Conflict Missions – time for a rethink,' Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, London. 2000. Guest Lecture.
- Female Soldiers & UN Peacekeeping discussion in Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 (24 April 2008)
Lesley Abdela and Professor Gerard 'Jerry' De Groot (St Andrews) on why the UK and the European Union should lead the world in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
Professor De Groot spoke on the subject at a UNIFEM conference in Rwanda recently, quoting from a piece Lesley Abdela published on openDemocracy.net three years ago.
Notes and References
- http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.aspx?pdf=52173&geotype=London&gpn=12&type=ArchivedIssuePage&all=&exact=&atleast=&similar= MBE list 15 June 1990
- http://www.ntu.ac.uk/alumni/honorary_graduates/index.cfm?ID=3 Honorary Graduates
- http://www.woea.dk/EUKP_EN/index_en.htm Women of Europe Award
- http://www.shevolution.qbfox.com/about_us/the_team/index.html The Team
- http://www.shevolution.qbfox.com/about_us/project_parity/ Project Parity
- http://www.shevolution.qbfox.com/about_us/eyecatcher/ Eyecatcher Associates
- http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search2?coll_id=6765&inst_id=65 Records of the 300 Group
- UNSCR1325 is an exemplary Security Council Resolution passed unanimously in late 2000, greatly expedited by the work of Britain's Sir Jeremy Greenstock and the UK Delegation to the UN at the time. A short version of the Resolution can be found at http://www.iwtc.org/1325_word.pdf