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FiLiA Podcasts

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FiLiA is a UK-based feminist charity, platforming and connecting women through our annual conference, blog posts, and podcasts. Listen to women sharing stories, wisdom, experience, feminism, sisterhood and solidarity. Find us at:
133 Episodes
In this episode of the FiLiA podcast, Fiona MacKensie, from the campaign group ‘We Can’t Consent to This’ talks to Gemma Aitchison about her campaign to make the government ban the so called ‘rough sex defence’. Now set to become law in England and Wales, those accused of murder and assault will no longer be able to claim that the victim consented to their death or injury as part of rough sex or a sex game gone wrong.60 UK women have been killed by men who claimed a sex game had gone wrong, and in the last five years, the defence was successful in seven of the 17 killings of a woman which reached trial, with the man being found not guilty or receiving a manslaughter conviction.The campaign is now moving to Northern Ireland where the Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long has opened a consultation to adopt a new law, expressly forbidding the use of “consent” defences to charges of violence for ABH and above.
Esther, a sex trade survivor from London, talks to FiLiA’s Luba Fein and explains why prostitution cannot be separated from abuse and exploitation. She became involved with activism against the sex trade because of what was happening to women still involved in prostitution, the structural discrimination which puts huge obstacles in the way of their attempts to exit, the hypocrisy of those who are apologists for the sex trade, and the clear targeting of ever-younger girls with messages sanitising it and normalising the sexualised violence which is ubiquitous in online porn.
On this episode of the FiLiA Podcast, Joan Smith talks to FiLiA’s Sally Jackson about the many ways in which our patriarchal system fails Women who have been subjected to violence from men.Joan Smith is a novelist, journalist and human rights activist. She began writing about violence against women after covering the murders carried out by Peter Sutcliffe in the north of England, which she described in her book Misogynies. She is also the author of the Loretta Lawson crime novels, two of which were filmed by the BBC. She is a former Chair of the English PEN Writers in Prison Committee and has been Co-chair of the Mayor of London’s VAWG Board since 2013. Her latest book is Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists.Follow Joan on Twitter at @pollblonde
In this episode of the FiLiA Podcast, Luba Fein talks to Caroline Pugh-Roberts, a survivor of eight years of human trafficking. Caroline now works full time exclusively with trafficked persons through the Salvation Army and is an expert on human trafficking who is often called upon to testify as such in trials. She has spoken to and educated over 20 thousand people and is an international speaker. Caroline teaches about HT at the Canadian Police College and has trained the RCMP on the psychology of HT victims. Caroline has received the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal, the Hope award and the John Robinson award for her work in this area.
#127 Tua: Journey to Asylum

#127 Tua: Journey to Asylum


Tua is a lesbian from Cameroon who finally received her leave to remain in the United Kingdom in 2019.Tua talks to Sally Jackson about the violent lesbophobia she was subjected to in Cameroon, and how she was forced into a marriage by her mother. During her escape, she was exploited and trafficked to England where she faced the shameful policies of the UK's Hostile Environment before finding support here. Her asylum claim was finally accepted in 2019 and she has received her leave to remain.
Listen to members of Women In Black Armenia, Sona Hovakimyan and Arpi Balyan, who share their opinions and thoughts about the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war which began on September 27, 2020, and lasted 44 days. The war ended after three failed cease-fires on November 9, 2020, when Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have signed an agreement to end the military conflict.This recording is the first of our Women in Black series, a powerful collection of testimonies from Women peace activists from across the globe.
FiLiA Spokeswoman Raquel Rosario Sánchez speaks with Imogen, a representative of the Cambridge Radical Feminist Network to discuss its origins as a group, its politics and the recent controversies regarding free speech at the University of Cambridge.TEXTTextREMOVEListen Here:TEXTTextREMOVECambridge Radical Feminist Network: Centring Women’s Rights in AcademiaFiLiA PodcastsAUDIOAudioEDITREMOVEThe Cambridge Radical Feminist Network is a network of feminist students and Cambridge residents who meet throughout the academic term to discuss feminism from a radical, materialist and gender-critical perspective. They hold discussion groups every two weeks, which are open to all women, student or not.The Cambridge Radical Feminist Network believes that open, rational and well-reasoned debate is central to genuine feminist analysis, activism and ultimately liberation. They exist to provide a space on campus where lively discussion can take place.
Sall Grover is the founder & CEO of Giggle, a social network & social medial platform for females. Prior to Giggle, Sall pursued her dream of screenwriting in Hollywood but retired after almost 10 years due to extreme sexual assault and harassment. While she sold screenplays, her movies were never made, probably because they were all about strong women who come to realise that they don’t need a man. Sall currently lives in Australia. She is very happily eternally single and is the proud single-dog-mum to a 10-year-old, 20% evil and slightly misogynistic Pekingese-pomeranian named Puck. In this episode of the FiLiA podcast, Sall talks to Sally Jackson about her life in Hollywood and why she returned to Australia, What led her to found Giggle and why it’s female only. Sexual harassment, #MeToo, Women's health, Sex-based rights and prostitution are also discussed.
This episode of the FiLiA podcast is a recording of the latest meeting of the FiLiA Feminist Book Club. FiLiA CEO, Lisa-Marie Taylor, talks to Dr Jessica Taylor about her new book, based on three years of doctoral research and ten years of practice with women and girls in which she explores the many reasons we blame women for male violence committed against them. Learn about the powerful forces in society and individual psychology which compel us to blame women subjected to male violence. Dr Jessica Taylor writes in a way that makes this information understandable to any woman and her accessible language clearly explains these complex issues.
Dr Olivia Smith is calling for a national system of legal advocacy, after publishing a report that aims to improve sexual offence victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system. In this episode of the FiLiA podcast, Dr Smith, a lecturer in criminology & social policy at Loughborough University talks to FiLiA volunteer Gemma Aitchison about her campaign for independent legal representation for survivors of all serious sexual offences in England and Wales so that all victims of rape and sexual offences are given free access to a lawyer who can advise and represent them at important points in the criminal justice process.
Grizelda Grootboom from South Africa survived apartheid, homelessness and decades of sexual abuse. Now a famous author and survivor activist, Grizelda is interviewed by Luba Fein about her escape from a life of prostitution.
Susan Hawthorne discusses her new book Vortex: The Crisis of Patriarchy which draws on her decades of experience and radical feminist knowledge to take on a huge task. Vortex is a wide-ranging analysis of the devastation patriarchy wreaks, including on women, lesbians, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, refugees and landless people, nature and the planet itself.In this podcast, Susan explains the key ideas in Vortex, the running theme in the book of the myth of Cassandra and Trojan horses, how growing up in Australia has affected her work and why she asks readers whether we care about the safety of lesbians. (And if that isn’t enough, Susan weaves in stories from her life, reads two of her poems and suggests how women might reverse the patriarchal crises.)
Illuminating her inner journey growing up mixed-race in Britain, Esua Jane Goldsmith's unique memoir exposes the isolation and ambiguities that often come with being ‘an only’.Raised in 1950s South London and Norfolk with a white, working-class family, Esua’s education in racial politics was immediate and personal. From Britain and Scandinavia to Italy and Tanzania, she tackled inequality wherever she saw it, establishing an inspiring legacy in the Women’s lib and Black Power movements.Plagued by questions of her heritage and the inability to locate all pieces of herself, she embarks on a journey to Ghana to find the father who may have the answers.A tale of love, comradeship, and identity crises, Esua’s rise to the first Black woman president of Leicester University Students’ Union and Queen Mother of her village, is inspiring, honest, and full of heart.
Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans is a feminist, academic, social theorist and philosopher. On this episode of the podcast, she discusses her latest book, Transgender Body Politics published by Spinifex Press. Transgender Body Politics analyses the political movement of transactivism in a broader sense, explaining the damage this has done to women. Heather outlines the tragic absurdity of having to argue that lesbians don’t have penises, that “women” is a far preferable word than “menstruators" and feminists not being allowed to speak respectfully about this issue with women who disagree. Her book compellingly makes the case that what she calls a "transgender empire" is a form of patriarchy women must stand shoulder-to-shoulder against. Heather co-edited two previous books on the subject of the transgendering of children, with Professor Michele Moore. Hear Heather talking about this earlier work here. Find out more about Transgender Body Politics and how to order the book here, or check out this book review. Read more about Heather on her website and follow her on Twitter.
Luba Fein interviews Jewell Baraka, a writer, an activist, and a survivor who was trafficked into prostitution and the pornography industry from age 11-17, in Portland, Oregon, USA. Now, Jewell uses her voice, alongside other survivors and activists to shine a light on the human rights violations in the sex industry.
Hibo Wardere introduces her memoir 'Cut', detailing her life in Somalia and the UK and sheds light on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, that's still being carried out in the 21st century.
In this episode, Pragna Patel reflects on her work with Southall Black Sisters, which was established in 1979 to meet the needs of Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women, and aims "to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women." Pragna joins FiLiA volunteer Sadia Hameed in a conversation that spans her earlier experiences to the present day, including: getting involved with the feminist, anti-racist and anti-fundamentalist struggles (and why they are interlinked), the impact of COVID-19 on black and minority women, and Southall Black Sisters' vital campaign to include migrant women in the Domestic Abuse Bill.
Gemma Aitchison is a director at the YES Matters UK CIC which is also part of the End Violence Against Women coalition. In this episode of the FiLiA Podcast, Gemma discusses the recent findings of a research report carried out by Yes Matters, looking at sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Dr Laurel Foster, Reader in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth, gives a fascinating insight into some of the stories she uncovered from interviewing Women activists in Portsmouth for the Women’s Activism in Portsmouth project.
Alexine Solis is a young woman from France who has been in prostitution between 19 and 21 years old. She became an abolitionist activist after participating in the March of Survivors in Germany, Belgium and Spain in 2019.
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