Above the Parapet had a strong advisory group which provided advice for the project as it developed and sought to maximise learning and sharing of knowledge. Members were drawn from the sectors into which research was conducted, bringing relevant experience to bear in their support given to the project. The project learned from women’s experiences across political contexts.
Writer and Editor
Bim Adewunmi is a writer and editor with specialisms in popular culture, women and race. She writes regularly for national and international media such as: the Guardian; the New Statesman; Independent magazine; Grazia and Mslexia among others. She also contributes to BBC Radio 4 programmes including Front Row, Woman’s Hour, Broadcasting House and Saturday Review. Bim is currently acting women's editor of the Guardian
Prof the Baroness Haleh Afshar
Professor of Politics & Women's Studies at the University of York
Haleh Afshar OBE is Professor Emeritus at the University of York and serves as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities. For seven years she served as Deputy Chair of the British Council's Gender and Development Task Force. She has also served with the Advisory Group of the Cabinet Offices Women's Unit to work on raising gender awareness amongst civil servants who adjudicate on applications for asylum from women. In 2008 she was appointed to serve as a Commissioner on Women's National Commission. She has written two and edited/co-edited 13 books on questions relating to women and development.
Director, UK Feminista
Kat Banyard is author of The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today. In 2014 her book was dramatised in the play Blurred Lines, premiering at the National Theatre. Kat is also founder of UK Feminista - an organisation supporting grassroots feminist activism. In 2010 Kat was named by the Guardian as "the most influential young feminist in the country" and in 2011 was named one of the Observer's 50 contemporary innovators, described as “Game-changers whose vision is transforming the world around us”. Kat was previously Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society and Women’s Development Worker at the Northern Refugee Centre.
Margot James MP
Conservative Member of Parliament for Stourbridge
Margot James was elected as the Conservative MP for Stourbridge in 2010, and is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Leader of the House of Commons, William Hague. She chairs the All Party Group on Trade and Investment. Margot served as a non-executive board director of Parkside NHS Trust and is currently a governor of Redhill School and the LSE. Between 2006 and 2010, she served as Vice Chair of the Conservative Party for women. Margot spent ten years as a trustee of Abantu, an African women's charity, during which time she trained women from more than forty different African countries in communications and lobbying skills.
Tessa Jowell MP
Labour Member of Parliament for Dulwich and Norwood
Tessa Jowell was Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood from1992 until 2015, after a successful career as a Health Policy Analyst and Development Director. She was a minister for the duration of the 1997-2010 Labour Government including eight years in the cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. As Public Health Minister Tessa is credited with the creation and design of SureStart, the early years nurture programme and, as Employment Minister, she helped to shape the New Deal employment programme. In 2001 Tessa was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport where she was the driving force behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and was a Member of the Olympic Board for the entire duration of the project. Tessa was created a Dame in 2012 for political and charitable services.
Prof Francesca Klug
Professorial Research Fellow, LSE
Professor Francesca Klug OBE is a Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE. She is Director of the Human Rights Futures Project which seeks to explore the direction of human rights discourse. Francesca was previously a Senior Research Fellow at King's College Law School where she assisted the government in devising the model for incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law reflected in the Human Rights Act. Francesca is a trustee of the British Institute of Human Rights, an Academic Expert at Doughty Street Chambers and an Editorial Board member of the journal Political Quarterly. She is writing a book on the ethics of universal human rights in the context of the current debate in the UK on the future of the Human Rights Act.
Executive Director, Imkaan
Co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition
Marai Larasi MBE is the Executive Director of leading UK-based black feminist organisation Imkaan which is dedicated to ending violence against black, minority ethnic (BME) and refugee women and girls. She is also Co-Chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, the UK’s largest coalition of organisations working to eradicate violence against women and girls. She was number 80 in the 2013 World Pride Power List of the most influential LGBT people in the worlds of business, politics, arts and entertainment. Marai has worked with women's groups on leadership development, coaching, mentoring, training and facilitation.
Seychelles Ambassador to the UK
Marie-Pierre Lloyd became the Seychelles High Commissioner to the UK in 2012. She entered Seychelles’ public service in 1976, the year of Seychelles' Independence. From her first post as Social Development Officer in the Ministry of Education and Social Development (1976-78), she moved into other senior policy-making positions and in 2006 she became the Minister for Employment and Social Affairs. A year later she was appointed Minister for Health and Social Development and in 2010, became the first Seychelles’ Roving Ambassador for Women and Children’s Issues, during which time she opened a community centre for women and others who wanted a "second chance".
Sue Marsh is a disability campaigner who raises awareness of hidden disabilities and long-term illness. She writes a popular and influential blog which shares information, analysis and opinion on welfare, illness, disability and political thought. She set up a grassroots team that researched and wrote a seminal report analysing proposals for the Welfare Reform Bill 2011 contributing to changes in the House of Lords. She is a political strategist that regularly contributes to and speaks on national media.
Baroness Shirley Williams
Liberal Democrat Peer
Shirley Williams, Co-Founder of the Social Democratic Party and its first President (1982-88), served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 2001 until retiring from that position in 2004. She started her career as a journalist and was General Secretary of the Fabian Society until becoming Labour MP for Hitchin in 1964. She served in the Cabinet (1974-79) including as Secretary of State for Education and Science. Shirley lost the seat in 1979 but, after co-founding the Social Democratic Party in 1981, was its first elected MP in the same year. She became Baroness Williams of Crosby in 1993 and was the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Foreign Affairs in the Lords (1998-2001). She was on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Council for the Fourth World Women's Conference.