series event

LIDC Development Debate with Lucy Lamble, Executive Editor, Global Development, 'The Guardian'


Has #MeToo Really Taken Off in International Development? 

‘In late 2017, the #MeToo movement zoomed into the public consciousness, impacting sectors from finance to higher education and politics. Earlier this year, international development NGOs, Oxfam, Save the Children, and the ONE Campaign were also hit with a raft of sexual harassment and abuse allegations, leading to dismissals and lost government contracts. Since then, DFID has hosted a Safeguarding Summit in which International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, galvanised the support of 500+ delegates from across the international aid community to sign up to standards preventing sexual exploitation and abuse.

Yet there are concerns that the scandals in the aid industry focused more on punishing bad actors than empowering women. What’s more, women in the global South deal with sexual harassment and abuse on a daily basis, but have been marginalised in a largely North-focused #MeToo movement. In this debate, we’ll examine whether the #MeToo movement has fully taken off in international development. Associated questions include:

  • ‘Why has the discourse around #MeToo been different in India?’
  • ‘What about violence against girls in developing countries?’

Our speakers, comprised of academics from LIDC’s member institutions, development practitioners and policy makers, will take questions from the audience. Discussions will be guided by a moderator, and there will be a chance to continue the discussion after the debate at a networking and drinks reception.


Frances Longley is CEO of Amref Health Africa UK and co-chair of the UK NGO sector working group on Leadership and Culture for Safeguarding. Frances has over 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector focussing on leadership, strategy and communications. Her career reflects a passion for the promotion of access and inclusion for marginalised and disadvantaged groups, especially women and girls. In her role with Amref Health Africa she continues to champion collaboration with communities which draws on local knowledge to find innovative and effective ways to increase access to healthcare in underserved and marginalised populations

Sarah Maguire is Director, Technical Services, Governance at DAI. She has extensive experience in promoting human rights in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and at the policy level with donors, United Nations entities, and nongovernmental organizations. Sarah has worked in sectors such as security and justice, violence against women and girls, child protection, women’s rights, and peace and security. She currently serves as the Technical and Project Director of the Access to Security and Justice Programme in Sierra Leone and as Senior Technical Adviser to the Aawaz (Voice and Accountability) and Enhancing Democracy and Civic Engagement programmes in Pakistan. 

Shaista Aziz is a former BBC News, Al-Jazeera and CNN journalist, and co-Founder of NGO Safe Space, an intersectional feminist platform in response to #aidtoo. She has also worked as a communications specialist for a number of international organizations including Amnesty International, Doctors without Borders (MSF) and Oxfam. She has worked extensively across the Middle East, Pakistan, East and West Africa. Her writing and journalism has been published in a number of international publications including The Guardian, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post and New York Times.  She is the founder of the Everyday Bigotry Project, an anti-racism, anti-bigotry digital platform, and co-founder of the Women’s Advancement Hub, Pakistan and Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy. She is also a newly elected councillor for Oxford City Council. 

Meghna Ranganathan is Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).  She is a member of the DFID-funded STRIVE Research Consortium and the Gender Violence Health Centre at the LSHTM. She is the co-principal investigator on an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) secondary analysis grant. In that role, she has been leading efforts to evaluate the scale-up of an economic intervention to examine the relationship between women’s empowerment and intimate partner violence among a cohort of women in rural South Africa.


More speakers will be confirmed shortly.


Lucy Lamble, Executive Editor, Global Development, The Guardian. See her profile here.


Please send any questions for our panellists to Sarah Hambly, Communications and Public Engagement Manager, LIDC, who can be reached at


Free tickets: Please note that this event is open to the public, but it is only free to LIDC members. We will be checking all ticket bookings prior to the event against our database. If you register for a free LIDC member ticket and are not a member, your ticket will be cancelled. All students, alumni and staff at our member institutions (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, SOAS University of London, Birkbeck Geography Department, UCL Institute of Education, City, University of London, and Queen Mary University of London) and current postgraduate students at King’s College Department of International Development and the Bartlett Development Planning Unit are able to become LIDC members for free


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