In the developed world, issues that animated the fight for women's equality seem resolved. Nevertheless, high-profile feminist campaigns gather pace. The Everyday Sexism Project catalogues sexist instances, such as cat calls and unwanted compliments, to uncover misogynistic abuse. Is this a necessary corrective to complacency, or does the focus on minor, often trivial, offences indicate the battle is mostly won? Meanwhile, #NoToPage3 and #losetheladsmags seek to police news-stands and feminist tweeters celebrate the jailing of trolls. How did a fight for freedom become a demand for censorship? Or is that assessment unfair? Might the falling rates of rape convictions or the pornification of music videos show feminism is still necessary and urgent? What role does it have today?
Kate Figes is the author of six books of non fiction - Because of Her Sex, Life After Birth, The Terrible Teens, The Big Fat Bitch Book, Couples and most recently Our Cheating Hearts.
She has also written two novels. She is an established journalist writing for the Guardian, The Times and Telegraph and is books editor of YOU Magazine at the Mail on Sunday. She is also a practising family mediator.
Claire Fox is the director of the Institute of Ideas (IoI), which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. Claire initiated the IoI while co-publisher of the controversial and ground-breaking current affairs journal LM magazine (formerly Living Marxism). The IoI has since worked with a variety of prestigious institutions in Britain and abroad. Claire convenes the IoI's flagship event, the yearly Battle of Ideas festival, which takes place in London in October. The IoI has also established the prestigious Debating Matters competition for sixth form students in the UK and India under Claire's direction.
Claire is a panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and is regularly invited to comment on developments in culture, education, politics and the arts across the whole range of media outlets: such as BBC Question Time, BBC Any Questions?, SkyNews Review, and BBC Breakfast. Claire writes regularly for national newspapers and a range of specialist journals. She has a monthly column in the MJ (municipal journal) and presented 'Claire Fox News' on the internet TV channel '18 Doughty Street'.
Claire is a Member of the European Cultural Parliament and sits on the Advisory Board of the Economic Policy Centre.
Claire previously worked as a mental health social worker and as a lecturer in English literature. She was a judge on the panel for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 (download her speech given to the 2006 Orange Prize Libraries Seminar) and features in the 'Who's Who' almanac 2007. Claire was number 64 in Time Out's 2006 London Movers and Shakers list, and was named the capital's No.3 activist. Claire also features in the Telegraph's list of Britain's 100 most influential people on the Left.
Claire has a particular interest in education and social issues such as crime and mental health. She opposes 'youth voice' initiatives as patronising and an abdication of adult responsibility, is an advocate of a liberal arts and academic curriculum for all school pupils, and is a fierce opponent of the politicisation of and interference into the curriculum for social or policy ends.
She is highly critical of authoritarian developments such as New Labour's 'antisocial behaviour orders', any form of restriction on free speech, the erosion of civil liberties and attempts to manage and 'nudge' the public's behaviour. She is also a passionate supporter of the arts, and strongly believes that they should be valued for their own sake rather than as instrumental means to social ends. Claire wrote No strings attached! Why Arts Funding should say no to instrumentalism for Arts & Business (4 July 2007) to lay out her opposition to instrumentalism in ther arts.
Ann Furedi has been CEO of British Pregnancy Advisory Service since 2003. Before then she was Director of Policy & Press for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the UK's regulator of embryo research and assisted conception. Bpas specialises in later abortions and provides almost 70% of all those that take place in Britain. Furedi has written extensively in defence of women's autonomy of reproductive choice.
She is a board member of the American research charity, IBIS Reproductive Health and vice chair of the Governing Body for Mid Kent FE College.
Kate Maltby writes regularly for the Telegraph about ethics, domestic and international politics, and culture. She also reviews theatre regularly for the Spectator.
She is an Associate Fellow of the liberal Conservative think tank, Bright Blue and has frequently informally advised government ministers. She trained as a classicist at Oxford and Yale, and is completing a PhD at University College London on the intellectual life of Elizabeth I and early modern women translators.