Moments from our Development Debate ‘Has #MeToo Really Taken Off in International Development?’

December 17, 2018

On 11th December, 100+ staff, students and alumni of LIDC member institutions, as well as civil society representatives joined us in John Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, to explore whether #MeToo has taken off in international development. We were thrilled to have Lucy Lamble, Executive Editor of the Global Development desk, The Guardian, chair the debate. What’s more, we were delighted to welcome the following distinguished panellists:

  • Frances Longley, CEO, Amref Health Africa-UK and Co-chair of the UK NGO Steering Group on Organisational Culture for Safeguarding
  • Sarah Maguire, Director, Technical Services, Governance, DAI
  • Deniz Kandiyoti, Emeritus Professor, SOAS
  • Shaista Aziz, Co-Founder, NGO Safe Space, and Journalist
  • Meghna Ranganathan, Assistant Professor, LSHTM

Claire Heffernan, LIDC Director, kicked off the debate by explaining the context of the event. She then handed over to Lucy Lamble who asked each panellist to give their opinion on whether #MeToo has really taken off in international development.

According to our panellists, there was a consensus that the #MeToo movement has opened discussions around sexual harassment and abuse, especially in the UK, but a lot more needed to be done.

Following this, there was a lively discussion where our panellists brought different perspectives on how we can effect wider cultural change both in UK NGO sector and abroad, differing attitudes to reporting violence against women and girls, the need for a perpetrator-centred approach to tackling sexual assault and harassment, and much more. Our attendees also asked fantastic questions on subjects including whether NGOs have a responsibility to educate their beneficiaries about sexual assault, comparable #MeToo movements in developing countries, and the challenges that people who identify as LGBTQ face in reporting assault.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our Development Debate! We’re especially grateful to our chair, Lucy Lamble, and outstanding panellists.

Here is a link to the audio recording of the debate.