Political Activism and the Women's Equality Party

Date: Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:30

Venue: The B-Bar, Barbican Theatre

Berenice (Bea) Gare, branch leader for the Women’s Equality Party in Exeter, is coming to speak to us in March about the importance of engaging in political activism and the role of the WEP in fighting prejudice and supporting equality.  

Bea will emphasise the importance of politics and why it is absolutely necessary to take part in the governance of our country and not leave it to the politicians in Westminster.  She will talk about the shape of the world we’re in, how we got here, what it means, why our future depends on speaking out – now – against racism, misogyny, xenophobia, religious fundamentalism (of whatever ilk) and in support of equality.  To Bea, this is crucial if we’re to continue to live in a relatively peaceful and tolerant society.  She will also tell us how, as the daughter of missionary, a former diplomat and now an active member of the Women’s Equality Party, she came to these conclusions.

Bea was born in 1956 in Chelsfield, Kent.  She went to the local county primary school and after passing her 11+, spent 3 years at Coopers School in Chislehurt, Kent before her father took the whole family to India to continue his missionary work for the New Apostolic Church.  Returning to the UK to finish her education at boarding school,  she then studied to become a Secretary.  She joined the Foreign Office in 1975 and worked originally in Africa and Asia, being promoted to the mainstream diplomatic service after 18 months overseas.  She took a career break to study science in the 1990s, first gaining a degree in Environmental Biology at Reading, then a PhD in Biological Sciences at Exeter, before running her own business as an Environmental Consultant.  After getting married she moved back to London and returned to the FCO in 2002 where she specialised in multilateral work; first on biological and chemical weapons policy, then as the lead for the UK's negotiations on the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.  In 2007 she was posted to Vienna where she worked as Deputy Head for politico-military affairs at the UK’s Delegation to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  She returned to the UK in 2012 to work on conflict resolution in Africa (DRC), before taking some time out for family reasons.  She left the FCO in April 2016 and since then has been active in national politics - in particular in the Women's Equality Party where she is a branch leader.  At the Party’s first national Conference in November 2016 she was elected to sit on the national Steering Committee and now has also been elected to the Party’s Executive Committee.  When she is not doing politics she spends her time knitting, cooking, reading and gardening.

This event is free and all are welcome, although we do ask for a voluntary contribution to help cover speakers' costs.


Castle St, Plymouth PL1 2NJ, UK



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