The Inquiry Fawcett Society Committee

The Inquiry Fawcett Society Committee


Amanda Ariss, Chair

Photo by Chryssa Panoussiadou 10 March 2009

Amanda Ariss is the CEO of the Equality and Diversity Forum. Under her leadership, EDF has launched the Equally Ours human rights project, developed a research network, helped secure the 2010 Equality Act, and pioneered ground-breaking work on sensitive topics such as competing rights.

Previously Amanda was Head of Policy and Research at the Equal Opportunities Commission and worked for the Audit Commission and in local government.

Amanda represents EDF on the Compact Voice board, the National Institute for Health Research public health advisory board, Runnymede Trust’s End Racism this Generation advisory group and NAVCA’s Local Infrastructure Commission. She is a Trustee of Guide Dogs and Vice Chair of Vision 2020 UK.


Carlene Firmin MBE

Carlene Firmin photo

Carlene Firmin MBE is Head of the MsUnderstood Partnership and Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, running a three year project on peer-on-peer abuse in young people’s relationships and peer groups. For two years Carlene was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, and continues to act as an advisor to them on sexual exploitation and gangs’ policy.

Carlene writes a monthly column in Society Guardian, and has had a number of papers published in academic books and journals. Carlene authored the Female Voice in Violence reports and for five years researched the impact of criminal gangs on women and girls, at the charity Race on the Agenda. Following this Carlene took up the post of Assistant Director of Policy and Research at children’s charity Barnardo’s with responsibility for youth justice and child sexual exploitation. In 2010 she founded ‘The GAG Project’ to train young women to influence policy on gangs and serious youth violence.

Carlene was featured in Glamour Magazines 35 most powerful women under 35 in 2011, the Black Powerlist 2013, was awarded a London Peace Award in 2008, and in 2011 she was awarded an MBE for services to Women and Girls Issues in the News Years Honours list.


Baroness Meacher

Molly Meacher

Baroness Meacher began her career with the Child Poverty Action Group in the 1970s as  Campaign Organiser for the fight against the abolition of Family Allowances and the introduction of Child Benefit. Since then she has campaigned against unemployment as Director of the Campaign for Work in the 1980s;  also for the rights of people with mental health problems as a Mental Health Act Commissioner.   She was adviser to the Russian Government on the development of a system to deal with unemployment in the 1990s and has been the Deputy Chair  of the Police Complaints Authority and Chair of a number of organisations including the Security Industry Authority and the East London NHS Foundation Trust.  She is the author or editor of books on poverty, unemployment and mental health.  She became a Peer in 2006 and speaks regularly on many issues affecting women, particularly on welfare reform.


Sir Keir Starmer QC

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer is a human rights lawyer. He has conducted cases at the highest level in England and Wales, including over 30 cases in the House of Lords (before it became the Supreme Court) and before the Privy Council. He has also conducted cases all over the world, including in international courts such as the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Right, the Caribbean Court of Justice and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.

From 2003-2008, Keir was the human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland and worked with the Policing Board to ensure that the Police Service of Northern Ireland fully complied with its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Keir was Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008-2013. As DPP, Keir was responsible for all criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. Among the complex and sensitive cases arising during his term of office were the cases about assisted suicide leading to the DPP’s guidelines on Assisted Suicide which were issued in February 2010; the various cases in which members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords were charged with criminal offences; the successful retrial in the Stephen Lawrence case; and several so-called street grooming cases.


Rosamund Urwin

Rosamund Urwin

Rosamund Urwin is a columnist, interviewer and feature writer for the London Evening Standard. She joined the Standard’s business desk in 2007, before moving to the features desk three years ago. She has also written for The New Statesman, Marie Claire, the Catholic Herald and Grazia. Her TV and radio appearances have included the Today Programme, PM and Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and ITV’s This Morning, while she regularly reviews the papers on Sky News.