British civilian journalist, international women’s rights campaigner and post-conflict reconstruction adviser with various Non-Governmental and International Governmental Organisations including Project Liberty, British Council, Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, Research Training Institute, KEGME, International Organisation for Migration and United Nations in GB, Ethiopia, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Ghana, China, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Middle East and Nepal, 1985-2008
REEL 1: Background in London, GB: childhood as part of Jewish family; education; story of illness and death of mother. REEL 2 Continues: further comments on mother’s death; memories of period at Queen Annes’s College, Harley Street; father’s second marriage; question of career; opinion of university education; attitude to events of Second World War; story of giving feminist speech at Queen Anne’s College. REEL 3 Continues: attitude to organised religion; career paths for women in 1960s; memories of period studying graphic design at Hammersmith School of Art; memories of sixth form education at Swiss school; reaction to Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962; political awareness; story of marriage to Tim Symonds and divorce; employment with advertising firm Royds; examples of gender discrimination; attitude to women’s liberation movement. REEL 4 Continues: various memories of childhood travels with parents; story about Dachau concentration camp; attitude of father to Germans; story of using own anti-German prejudice in later conciliation work. Aspects of period as research assistant with Liberal Party in GB: description of work; story of being first woman to wear jeans in House of Lords; role in persuading Energy Secretary Tony Benn to invest in alternative energy sources; reaction to scandal and downfall of Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe; opinion of Lib/Lab Pact; attitude of David Steel to women’s issues and role in Abortion Bill; reason for growing interest in women’s rights issues. REEL 5 Continues: Aspects of period as Liberal parliamentary candidate for East Herts during 1979 election: problem of being divorcee and single parent; further comments on marriage and divorce; effect of court case on attitude to women’s rights; story of losing in election; reaction to small number of women MPs. Aspects of period with 300 Group in GB, 1979-1985: role in formation; description of aims and launch; supporters including Lord Fenner Brockway; organisation. REEL 6 Continues: reason for barring British National Party from membership; development and funding; attitude to gender quotas; publicity and lobbying: development of branches across UK; attitude to public speaking; further comments on use of gender quotas; training opportunities for women; attitude of David Steel to women in Liberal Party; story of Roy Jenkins and EU; relations with Labour ‘Gang of Four’; role of Madonna’s mother-in-law Shereen Richie as 300 Group activist; story of taking American visitor to Greenham Common. REEL 7 Continues: relations between 300 Group and Greenham Common protestors; workshops; story of canvassing sculptor Henry Moore during 1979 election; story of incident involving son; question of negative effect of media attention on women in politics; reason for leaving 300 Group, 1985; attitude to giving speeches at Liberal Party Conferences; memories of year in Gambia. Aspects of period as freelance journalist in GB, 1987-1997: reason for career as journalist; description of work for Today, Guardian, The Times, and as writer on travel and women’s issues for Cosmopolitan; story of decline and end of 300 Group; influence of 300 Group in other countries; opinion of Barbara Follet; attitude to Labour Party’s all women shortlists during 1997 election. REEL 8 Continues: reaction to Labour victory in 1997 election and increase in women MPs; description of trip to Ethiopia with British Council including visit to grave of Sylvia Pankhurst. Aspects of period as journalist in Bosnia, 1993: attitude to media coverage of war; assignment for Cosmopolitan on women leaders in Bosnia; description of flak jacket; story of writing article about women in Cazin area; description of work with 511 Refugee Brigade of Bosnian fighters; importance of obtaining accounts from both men and women; reaction to first experience of war zone; nature of Bosnian conflict; attitude to wearing flak jacket. REEL 9 Continues: story of writing obituary of Bosnian major for The Times; number of abortions in area; opinion of Bosnians; attitude to interviewing rape victims; question of rape being classed as a war crime. REEL 10 Continues: effect of article on women in Bosnia; story of visit to Bulgaria, 1989. Aspects of period as journalist in Romania, 1992: member of first women’s group to visit Romania after fall of Ceausescu; description of activities in Bucharest and Brazov areas; social and political conditions; story about Mayor of Brazov; story of later visit with Project Liberty; attitude of Romanian women to contraception; description of workshops held for Romanian women. REEL 11 Continues: further comments on workshops; problems of long-term planning and reconstruction; attitude to cultural differences in former communist societies; reason for attending lectures on Russian and Eastern European history in GB; story of being appointed gender consultant for US funded Project Liberty; aims and objectives of project; description of training in Vienna. Aspects of period with Project Liberty in Eastern Europe: story of caviar in Ukraine; description of three-day workshops and establishing NGOs; role of women in reconstruction; aims and objectives of Thatcher Westminster Foundation for Democracy; workshops on women’s leadership; opinion of Douglas Hurd’s paper ’Preventative Diplomacy’; story of joining board of British Council. REEL 12 Continues: opinion of British Council; story of visit to King of the Ashanti in Ghana; attitude to being on board of British Council. Aspects of period as journalist in China, 1985: story of visit to Beijing; description of journey on Beijing Express; workshops held along route; donation of library by British Council; official welcomes at each stop; relations with Chinese authorities; opinion of accommodation and problem of bugging; activities and achievements of conference. Recollections of period as Deputy Director with OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe) in Kosovo, 1999: story of appointment; description of training in Vienna; previous contact with Kosovan refugees; luggage taken; inclusion of British police in group; first impressions of Pristina; opinion of accommodation. REEL 13 Continues: role of Russian troops at airport; description of returning refugees and destroyed houses on way to Pristina; opinion of rebuilding programme; attitude to role with OSCE and duties as Deputy Director; opinion of international community’s organisation and question of inclusion of women; lack of communication facilities; reason for exclusion of women by OSCE; description of meetings and workshops; story of being dismissed from post for breaking protocol. REEL 14 Continues: description of mass graves; problem of locating missing people; role in persuading OSCE to include lighter stories in briefings; attitude to being involved in a post-conflict situation; various amusing acronyms; social life and relations with Kosovan women; language situation; description of work with Kosovan Non-Governmental Organisations on further visits, 2001/2003; opinion of Hoxha regime in Albania; problem of ‘mission fatigue’; story of incident on Kosovo/Macedonia border; situation in post-conflict Kosovo; description of Kosovan NGO working with rural women; pre-conflict activities of women in Kosovo, Serbia and Albania. REEL 15 Continues: description of Kosovan NGO dealing with rape cases; story of rape of colleague; opinion of new Kosovan police uniform; reaction to exclusion of women from privatisation programme; description of devastation in Jacova; relations between Roma and Kosovan women; working conditions; opinion of role of international organisations; story of Kosovan women creating own organisational nework; opinion of first democratic elections; comparison of Kosovan NGOs and politicians; opinion of UNMIK (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo); story of setting up workshops; reaction to disbandment of Kosovo Liberation Army; rivalries between different Kosovan groups. REEL 16 Continues: increase of sex trade in post-conflict period; comparison of national attitudes to sex trade; description of ‘Arizona slave market’ in Bosnia; attitude of international community to sex trade; further comments on workshops; increase in criminality associated with sex trade; attitude of Kosovans to NATO; story of meeting with General Mike Jackson; various memories of friends and colleagues; story of General Charles Guthrie at Kongiswinter conference; reflections on experience gained in Kosovo; further description of work with Kosovan NGOs. REEL 17 Continues: role of NGOs in post-conflict society; problem of ethnic divide in Mitrovice; improvements in socio-political situation, 2003/3; story of organising workshop for Serbs and Albanian Kosovars; problems with technical communications; story of two schoolboys drowning in Kosovo; opinion of DFID (Department for International Development): story of Kosovan wine; story of Tony Blair and war museum in Pristina; attitude to Kosovan independence; problem of obtaining adequate funding; attitude to increasing Islamisation of Kosovo; role of Saudi-Arabia in rebuilding mosques; effect of 2003 Iraq War on situation in Kosovo; description of advocacy training programme. REEL 18 Continues: support for Kosovan women from business and regional states; question of bringing gender issues into mainstream debate; importance of Conference for Women in Beijing, China, 1985; attitude to gender stereotyping; problem of using Russian or Serbo-Croat languages in Kosovo. REEL 19 Continues: repetition of story about American visitor to Greenham Common. Aspects of period with British Council in Sierra Leone, 2000-2002: background to mission and role assessing needs of women in post-conflict situation; description of daily life in Freetown; attitude of population to British; problem of former UN troops; opinion of former High Commissioner and policies; story of women forming 50/50 Group; security situation; prostitution; cases of rape and mutilation during conflict; story of protest march by 3,000 women against massacres. REEL 20 Continues: problem of reintegrating child soldiers into society; female genital mutilation; description of Remembrance Day service; role of women in 2007 elections; problem of funding and corruption; story of giving lecture at York University about women in post-conflict situations; question of political and economic empowerment for women to combat sex trafficking; description of workshop in Albania. REEL 21 Continues: Recollections of period with RTI (Research Training Institute) in Iraq, 9/2003-2/2004: description of American occupied areas; effect of Iran-Iraq War on female percentage of population; attitude to Iraq War and reconstruction; description of briefings in North Carolina, US; description of journey to Iraq via Kuwait; personal security. REEL 22 Continues: story of using lavatory in Green Zone; accommodation in Hotel Babylon, Hillah; relations with RTI chief Dr James Mayfield; opinion of accommodation; bodyguards and security; story of visit to Babylon; opinion of Sheraton Hotel, Baghdad; reason for post with RTI; description of explosion near Hotel Babylon; relations with US personnel; role of Coalition Provisional Authority in facilitating women’s participation in elections; description of South Central area of Baghdad; role in mobilising women candidates for elections; description of women’s centres; work with human rights groups and at democracy centres; torture and ill-treatment of women under Saddam Hussein’s regime; description of Saddam’s former palaces; attitude to discriminatory treatment of Iraqis at canteen in Baghdad Palace; opinion of security personnel. REEL 23 Continues: attitude to needs of Iraqi women; comparison of security roles of different countries; story of sports hall used for torture under Saddam converted into women’s centre; human rights courses; description of opening ceremony; provision of computers and instructors by Americans; attitude of Iraqis to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; story of Iraqi man emailing Tony Blair; opinion of American role in reconstruction; story of talking to Iraqi civilians about process of reconstruction; research into Iraqi history and politics; story of lunch with tribal leader. REEL 24 Continues: story of ‘English bridge’ at Kerbala; description of mosque in Hilla; opinion of Shi’ite religious leader Qisweni; description of women’s centre in Kerbala; social life in Hotel Babylon; story of bomb explosion in Karbala and casualties; growing threat from insurgents; reaction to slurs against RTI; warnings of attacks and drills; attitude to fear during attacks; sheltering in bathroom during attacks; use of email between women in Arab countries. REEL 25 Continues: role in helping Iraqi women draft petition demanding quotas in elections; attendance at Women’s Conference in Baghdad; memories of stay with British in former palace; description of Basra; mortar raid during night; further comments on petition for quotas; attitude of Americans to quotas; percentage of women elected in local elections; story of electricity supply; opinion of US administration in Iraq; role in setting up Radio Scheherazade; question of receiving funding for projects from US; story of ambush and killing of helpers; problem of cash economy; reaction to events at Abu Ghraib detention centre; continuing role of RTI in reconstruction REEL 26 Continues: intimidation of Iraqi women involved in human rights and attitude of husbands; description of damage to infrastructure and effect on reconstruction; problem of infiltration of Iraqi police; threats to Iraqis working for foreigners; story of receiving death threats; story of being told that Saddam had no Weapons of Mass Destruction; description of local election, 11/2003; story of sheik and elections; criticism for recommending taxation as part of democratic process; attitude to carrying a gun; use of interpreters. REEL 27 Continues: description of destruction around Hillah and Karbala; personal accounts from Iraqi civilians about experiences; attitude to dealing with horrors of situation; comparison with Kosovo and Bosnia; various memories of American workers; opinion of food in American canteen; effects of stressful situation on eating habits and increasing use of strong language; attitude to co-operation with tribal leaders; opinion of Muktada Al-Sadr. REEL 28 Continues: story of cartoon about Paul Bremer; problem of travelling to Baghdad and intimidating effect of bodyguards on Iraqi women; question of appropriate clothes and cultural behaviour; reaction to Iraqi women not being invited to attend Stockholm Conference on women’s rights, 6/2008; attitude of professional men to women; reasons for weakening of women’s position in Iraqi society; targeting of women at university in Basra; exodus of professional and educated women from Iraq; targeting of Christian women and need to wear scarf. REEL 29 Continues: further comments on Stockholm Conference, 6/2008; demands of Iraqi women in line with UN Resolution 1325; protests by Iraqi women; question of percentage of funding supporting Iraqi women; reaction of Swedes to conference participants and programme; description of women’s groups involved in Iraq, 2003-2004; opinion of Margaret Owen; effect of Kurdish diaspora on Kurdish women; problem of lack of co-operation between various women’s groups. REEL 30 Continues: Recollections of period in Afghanistan, 2004: description of visit to Kabul with Greek NGO KEGME (The Mediterranean Women’s Studies Centre); invited by Ministry of Women’s Affairs; first impressions of Kabul; problem of Taliban in area; comparison of urban and rural Afghan women; opinion of treatment of women in Afghanistan; description of workshops for men and women; attitude of Afghan women to rape during war; reason for wearing burka; position of Afghan women in society; problem of educated Afghan women discussing human rights issues with uneducated; attitude of Afghans to Russian occupation and influence. REEL 31 Continues: description of workplace; description of ‘balloon game’ to discuss contemporary issues; story of visit to wedding shop; treatment of Afghan women by Taliban and aspirations; enthusiasm for workshops; rights for women in new Afghan constitution; question of discrimination against women; relationship between culture and religion in Afghan society. REEL 32 Continues: Recollections of period in Afghanistan, 2005: description of role in gender training for unnamed American NGO; opinion of accommodation; daily intelligence reports; problem of deteriorating security situation and suicide attacks; restrictions on travel; story of visit to Banyan as guest of World Food Programme; description of Bamyan including Buddhas destroyed by Taliban; attitude to Bamyan having first woman governor in Afghanistan; role of western nations in reconstruction; question of women’s rights in constitution not being implemented; story of 200 Afghan women imprisoned for adultery; opinion of work of Rachel Wareham and medical NGO. REEL 33 Continues: legal status of women in Afghanistan; description of Zina Law; attitude of Afghan women to legal system; position of women in judiciary; increase of young women committing suicide by burning; forced marriages; violence against women; role of Islam in abuse of women; polygamy; description of toyana marriage tradition; effect of war on women’s rights; story of night letters; subjective use of word prostitute; story of participating in women’s demonstration; description of women’s shelters in Kabul; story of women delegates to Loyal Jurga being threatened; relations between Afghan women and police; attitude to slow pace of change for women in Afghan society. REEL 34 Continues: opinion of anti-Taliban women’s group RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan); role of Womankind International; problem of women being excluded from mainstream; human rights activities of women in Peshawar refugee camps; opinion of work of Oxfam and Amnesty International; story of Afghan woman Bibi Amina being stoned to death for adultery; question of majority of Afghan women not having identity cards; problem of drug addiction among Afghan women; role of media in women’s rights; women’s radio stations; development of women’s rights in Afghanistan; importance of diaspora; women’s quotas and participation in 2004 elections; problem of threats and intimidation against women candidates. REEL 35 Continues: opinion of role of western organisations in election process; living conditions for Afghan war widows; problem of drug addiction among Afghan men; further comments on rural and urban women; effect of women’s behaviour on family status; constraints on women in Afghan society including concept of honour; comparison of public and private life of Afghan women; opinion of effectiveness of human rights legislation since 2001; role of NATO in reconstruction; relations between Afghans and international community. REEL 36 Continues: Recollections of period in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 2006: story of appointment as senior gender adviser for IOM (International Organisation for Migration), 5/2006; role of Mark Knight and MOU (Men of Understanding); description of journey; first impressions of Banda Aceh; effects of war and tsunami on situation of women; problem of missing and displaced persons; question of fair distribution of funding; effects of war and tsunami on economy; role in re-integrating former combatants into society; activities of women as drugs smugglers with rebel group GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka); criteria set for re-integration; comparison of number of deaths in conflict and tsunami; use of oil profits; role of MOU in peace process. REEL 37 Continues: role of MOU in re-integration programme; role of women in Banda Aceh society and independence movement; rape and torture of women by government forces; description of mixed gender workshops; opinion of ‘invisible’ role of women in war; attitude in local community to rape victims; problem of high number of war widows; question of gender roles changing as result of conflict; story of new housing being provided by international community; opinion of work of International Labour Organisation (ILO); question of equal rights and pay for women; problem of gender stereotypes; effect of Islamic Law on women; problem of curfew limiting women’s movements. REEL 38 Continues: problem of women forced into sex trade; description of work redefining term ‘combatant’ to include role of women and use of term WAFFS; question of international community taking male perspective on conflict and post-conflict situations; attitude of local community to former female fighters; problem of increase in HIV/AIDS; exclusion of women from peace process; question of ignorance of international community to UN resolutions relating to women; story of restaurant and Princess Diana; description of travels around Banda Aceh; role in formation of various self-help groups for women including WAFFS; EU quotas for inclusion of women in peace process and reconstruction; description of governmental women’s group for reintegration; problem of providing assistance to WAFFS; statement of support for women from Kofi Annan. REEL 39 Continues: further comments on Kofi Annan; importance of economic stability in reconstruction; question of giving money directly to families; problem of distribution of aid; use of radio to educate women; interviewing work and travel in country; opinion of Banda Aceh; problem of having to produce reports quickly; attitude to consultancy work; comparison of role of women in reconstruction in Rwanda and Eritrea; legal status of women in Banda Aceh during and after conflict; attitude to including women in planning and design projects; description of World Bank community project. REEL 40 Continues: competition for funds between women’s groups; description of visits to villages; post-traumatic stress in men following conflict; importance of seating arrangements at village meetings; opinion of gender aspect of World Bank project; role of facilitators at village meetings; effect of conflict on village life and spending of aid money; role of women in village life; demand for computers and learning English; description of ‘talent banks’; medical needs; education groups; description of field trips by helicopter; post-conflict mental health issues; attitude to post-conflict peace building; effects of conflict and tsunami on women. REEL 41: Recollections of period in Israel, Gaza and West Bank, 11/1996: opinion of British media’s coverage of conflict; role with British Council talking to Israeli, Palestinian, Arab and Bedouin women; description of workshop at Arab/Israeli kibbutz in Neve Shalom; political situation in Israel; question of discrimination against Israeli women; divorce laws; story of workshop in Gaza; problem of travel and Hamas bus bombings; social and economic conditions in Gaza; Israeli conscripts as border guards; attitude to Russian Jews; reason for appearing on Jewish ‘hate lists’; involvement of women with model parliament in Gaza; description of workshop for women in Ramallah, West Bank; effect of Palestinian laws on women. REEL 42 Continues: story of manifesto by Palestinian women; use of radio; role of Palestinian women in society; story of Zahira Kamal winning seat on Palestinian Legislative Council; relations between Palestinian and Israeli women; further comments on kibbutz at Neve Shalom; description of workshop for Bedouin women; effect of Israeli laws on Bedouin society; story of rebel Amal Elsana; further comments on Bedouin workshop; story of women lobbying for new library. REEL 43 Continues: role of Jewish women in Knesset; opinion of Likud minister Limor Livnat; story of meeting with politician Naomi Chazan; aims and activities of ‘Women of the Wall’ movement and opposition from orthodox religious groups; story of meeting with Yael Dayan; complexity of political situation in region; description of villas owned by foreign sex traffickers; story of giving lecture on the ‘glass ceiling’ at Haifa University; description of rape crisis centre; story of gang rape on kibbutz; opinion of Judi Widetzky and World Zionist Movement; problems faced by women standing as parliamentary candidates; story of visit to Nazareth; description of empowerment workshop for Israeli Arab women. REEL 44 Continues: Recollections of period in Nepal, 9/2007-2/2008: story of being appointed gender consultant for UN GenCap (Gender Standby Capacity); role examining how climate change affects gender; background to political situation and Nepalese society; description of base in Kathmandu; effects on women of earthquakes and climate change; living conditions in region; abduction of children by Maoist rebels; law enforcement; sex trafficking; story of meeting with Dalits (untouchables); role of religion in Nepalese society; description of rituals involving women; impressions of region. REEL 45 Continues: description of UN security training for personnel working in post-conflict zones; opinion of initial briefing in Nepal; story of UN’s head of security in Iraq; problem of civilians working in conflict zones; description of clothing and equipment used in post-conflict zones. REEL 46 Continues: further comments on clothing and equipment; last letters and will; insurance; importance of entry visas; attitude to work; problem of adjustment to home life after mission; attitude to troops returning from conflict zones and domestic violence. REEL 47 Continues: relationship with partner; description of Nepalese film ‘Sari Soldiers’; story of visit to Dang valley area; question of all male monitors for elections; comparison of women fighters with Maoist rebels and in Nepalese Army; problem of elections in post-conflict society; laws relating to women’s rights; relations between Nepalese and Indian women political activists; problem of war widows in Nepal; attitude of UN to war widows; women’s quota system for 2008 elections; relevance of social inclusion to gender issue; opinion of Norwegian and Canadian governments work in Nepal; women’s representation in Maoist rebels; role in election process. REEL 48 Continues: work of NGOs dealing with violence against Nepalese women; opinion of SAWTEE (South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment); effects of conflict on women’s rights; problem of locating Internally Displaced Women; further description of workshops and helping war widows; problem of divisions between women’s groups over reparations. REEL 49 Continues: role of women during and after conflict; problem of gender stereotyping in Nepalese society; attitude to non-implementation of UN Resolution 1325 on Nepalese women; effect of natural disasters on women in post-conflict zones; reversal of gender roles; workshops with Internally Displaced Women; lifestyle of young Nepalese women; attitude to working in non-Muslim country; problem of alcoholism among Nepalese former soldiers; rise in number of street children; problems of domestic violence, rape and sex trafficking; effect of climate change on women; opinion of Nepalese Red Cross; description of warehouses for relief supplies; problem of lack of sanitary protection and contraceptives; role in advising on preparing for earthquakes; UN policy on natural disasters and conflict situations. REEL 50 Continues: problem of refugees in earthquake area; opinion of Nepalese government’s contingency plans for earthquakes; role of women in preparation and rescue process; women’s needs in flood situations; recommendations for Nepalese government; description of Nepalese women’s ‘Book of Talents’. REEL 51 Continues: summary of political progress of Nepalese women, 5/2005-4/2008; relations between Nepalese women and women from other countries; description of Nepalese women’s NGOs; question of rivalry between different organisations; story of Indian all-women police team acting as peacekeepers in Liberia. REEL 52 Continues: Reflections on various aspects of work in conflict and post-conflict zones: story of BBC Radio 4 programme ’Woman’s Hour’ and Gerard de Groot; attitude to women working in post-conflict areas; further comments on implementation of UN Resolution 1325; question of recognition for women working in post-conflict zones; role in campaign for women to be represented in four senior posts in the EU. REEL 53 Continues: effects of conflict and post-conflict situations on women; question of intimidation of women to wear burka and scarf in Islamic countries; positive aspects for women of conflict and post-conflict situations; agency of women in post-conflict areas. REEL 54 Continues: opinion of men playing ‘blame game’ with women in all societies; story of Americans in Hillah area of Iraq, 2003; attitude to mainstream debate and concept of ‘parallel universes’ of male and female organisations and institutions; role of women in dealing with problems of climate change, HIV, national disasters and epidemics; use of internet and radio in post-conflict reconstruction; opinion of Julie Hill; reaction to death of helper Robert Zangas. REEL 55 Continues: use of mobile phones for empowering women in post-conflict reconstruction; role of women in DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration) programmes; effect of working in conflict and post-conflict zones on attitudes to war, military personnel and militarism; attitude to pacifism; attractive aspects of war.