Global Feminists UNITE
Our unique Circle networks bring women together geographically or through their interests and professions to making lasting change for women and girls around the world. To create solidarity and action. Space to rally resources and address inequality. No sphere of influence too small, our networks harness the collective, change-making power that happens when we come together to support women. Committed to igniting female economic empowerment and ending violence against women and girls, we believe that if you have the means, you should make it meaningful.
The Lawyer’s Circle Network
Melanie Hall QC, a founding member of The Circle and lawyer Miriam Gonzalez founded The Lawyers Circle in 2011. Members of The Lawyers Circle Network use their skills to empower women and girls by working on the legal aspects of women’s disempowerment. Our network of dedicated professionals working in the legal sector, range from junior lawyers to QCs, to partners of city law firms, all working together to leverage their expertise in support of women and girls.
The Lawyer’s Circle have been pivotal in the launch of three ground-breaking reports calling for a living wage for garment workers. In addition they made a UN Every Woman Every Child commitment to provide a gap analysis report proposing a legal framework surrounding women’s access to justice and legal accountability for maternal health in Tanzania. Working with various partners internationally and locally in Tanzania, following the White Ribbon Alliance and the Tanzanian Women Lawyers’ Association’s draft bill presented to the Tanzanian Parliament in 2012, members called for decision makers to be accountable for the 24 women dying needlessly in childbirth every day in Tanzania.
“We believe that for a right to be effective it must be actionable. Our proposal is to change the law to empower women to be able to assert their rights” — Karis McLarty, member of The Lawyer’s Circle.
Other projects include work with Oxfam on their Raising Her Voice project, in which they analysed the implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women (or Maputo Protocol) in Kenya; working with Equality Now to undertake a legal survey concerning gender-based violence in Kenya. They supported a group of Kenyan lawyers who developed a test case to establish a broad ambit for positive obligations to protect women from gender-based violence. The Lawyers Circle’s biggest fundraising event was held at the Royal Geographical Society.
THE OXFORD CIRCLE NETWORK
The Oxford Circle was launched in 2012 and is chaired by Leanne Duffield. Members of The Oxford Circle Network were inspired by their previous Chair Dr Becky Cox and her courage to tell her story of domestic abuse. Gender-based violence can affect any woman or girl in any community.
October 2017 marked The Oxford Circle’s 5th anniversary and we celebrated with a high tea at the elegant Malmaison hotel in Oxford. Guest speaker Dr Brenda Kelly, a consultant obstetrician and specialist in FGM, shared the moving stories of the women she treats at the Rose Clinic in Oxford and the challenges they face. The Oxford Circle are constantly active, with members taking part in everything from running half marathons, creative paddle-boarding events dressed as witches for Halloween, holding inspiring Jumble Fever sales, author talks, a Women of Oxford Trail, and even secret dance parties.
THE SCOTTISH CIRCLE NETWORK
The Scottish Circle Network is chaired by Lynn Harris & Mary McGowne. They raise awareness and funds through a wide range of events such as their Sowing Seeds Growing Futures dinner party, their Handbags Full Circle auction, All Queens Big Quiz and their Summer Luncheon, which was attended by Annie Lennox. In November 2018, Mogwai played a concert in Glasgow, in aid of The Scottish Circle. All funds raised went towards supporting women who have survived violence. They have also supported Oxfam’s We Can Campaign in Pakistan, which raised awareness about violence against women and girls.
After Nepal was hit by two earthquakes in 2015, Unicef feared a surge in child trafficking. The Scottish Circle helped Unicef establish a comprehensive system led by the government of Nepal that protects children from trafficking. Closer to home, The Scottish Circle supported Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis, where Circle member Isabelle Kerr was the inspirational centre manager for over 15 years.
THE MEDIA CIRCLE NETWORK
The Media Circle Network is chaired by Eve Conway, Rotary International’s Programmes Director, and Muna Khogali, and it brings international media practitioners together. They are a diverse group of professionals, including filmmakers, PR experts, designers, photographers, journalists, executive producers, digital media specialists and more. They would love to invite more media professionals to be part of their resourceful team as they shape how media can empower some of the most marginalised and vulnerable women and girls globally.
Members of The Media Circle, connect, amplify, advise and fundraise in support of The Circle’s projects so that together we can raise awareness of the issues caused by gender-based inequality. Most recently they have organised two vital events in association with the London Press Club on the power of the media in raising awareness of gender-based violence. The events featured inspiring women from around the world including: Asma Shirazi, journalist and broadcaster; Pakistan Edoamaowo Udeme, journalist and founder of Network Against Domestic Violence Foundation, Nigeria; Hasina Safi, Afghanistan’s Former Acting Minister for Women; Shireen Huq, co-founder of Naripokkho, women’s rights organisation, Bangladesh.
The Asian Circle Network
The Asian Circle network was founded by Santosh Bhanot and launched at the Houses of Parliament. They aim to increase South Asian women’s ability to participate in their communities by strengthening their voices, gaining equality and improving their earning potential.
The Asian Circle partnered with Oxfam India on an ambitious project in rural Adivasi communities in Chhattisgarh and Odisha to challenge the social acceptance of sexual and domestic violence against women. There’s a long road ahead but this project has already made a huge difference to women and girls’ lives. This project has helped the government, the police and judiciary to apply the laws that protect women, with support centres that offer medical care, legal advice, counselling and shelters for survivors of gender-based violence. The Asian Circle also founded Chai Day, an annual fundraiser.
THE HEALTHCARE CIRCLE NETWORK
The Healthcare Circle launched in 2019 and is chaired by Dr Becky Cox. One of the newer Circles, it brings together women with professional experience in the health sector. They empower women and girls through access to safe, best practice education and resources, to enable the positive autonomy of their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
For their launch, they organised an empowering panel discussion and raised funds. In 2021, inspired by the incredible nurses who are worked so hard to keep everyone safe, The Healthcare Circle undertook a fundraiser committing to either walk, run, cycle, swim, or even jump on our space hoppers to travel the same distance they walk on an average day at work – 15,000 steps (4.5 miles).
THE MUSIC CIRCLE NETWORK
The Music Circle Network is a collection of leading women in the music industry, including Dawbell’s Kate Etteridge, Murray Chalmer PR MD Sarah Henderson and Founder of Deviate Digital Sammy Andrews to name a few. Most recently chaired by Diane Dunkley, the Music Circle will soon be embarking on the search for an exciting new Chair.
The Circle and music have had a long heritage, including partnerships with Universal Music, Island Records, Apple Music and more. The Music Circle has organised a variety of successful fundraising events. Including a favourite- A Night of a Thousand Bushes, a fundraiser inspired by Kate Bush, a number of Jumble Fever events in London, supporting our Girls Global Dance Hour Initiative and more.
THE LONDON CIRCLE NETWORK
The London Circle was founded in 2018 and recently chaired by long-standing Circle member Elske Willemborg and brings together those in the London area.
They inspired the wider Circle community with their Great River Race in 2019 to raise funds for The Circle to go towards supporting the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre in South Africa. They completed this challenge in a dragon boat, a skill new to the entire team. After training over the course of several months, they managed to raise £16,000 and finish the race in an incredible third place.
THE CIRCLE ITALIA NETWORK
The Circle Italia was founded by Antonella Antonelli, Editor of Marie Claire, Italia, and Circle Ambassador. Members from the world of fashion, arts, communications, film, and business come together to create, raise funds, and generate awareness of the need for equality.
The Italian Circle fundraise for many projects including Mama Morocco which supports mothers whose children are undergoing hospital treatment. The Italian Circle raised funds and awareness for the plight of Moroccan mothers and providing specialised training for nurses and initiatives such as ‘Mom Kit’ which will contain vital items for the time they spend in hospital during their child’s recovery.