Monday, February 21, 2011

I met Anita Roddick

When I lived in the UK and worked as a campaign manager at a giant human rights charity, I met Anita Roddick.

I was heading up the women's rights area and the issue of trafficking for sexual exploitation was one of our huge campaign issues. The EU was in the process of delivering their European Convention Against Trafficking. The UK was extremely reluctant to sign it. Most of the signatories were origin countries (where most of the women and girls who were trafficked cam from). Most of the reluctant signatories were destination countries. No real surprise there, I suppose.

Anyhow, I met Anita in the course of this work. She 'shadowed' me for a day in my work. She wanted to know what a day was like in running a campaign like this. She was full of energy and enthusiasm. Of big crazy ideas and a 'bugger-them-let's-just-do-it' attitude.

I think the daily reality of my job was less dramatic than she was hoping for. She wanted to break down the doors of the brothels. She wanted all the men charged and imprisoned. Instead we were lobbying MPs, writing legal briefs and research papers and studying reports. She was a giant force in a diminutive frame.

She had wild crazy hair, colourful scarves, and took up more emotional space than she did physical. Her energy was palpable.

I'm glad I met her. Fortunate. People always say she was an inspiring woman. And she was.


  1. Wow! I've always been a big fan of hers and what she accomplished. And how amazing was your job?! To be able to do such meaningful work... brilliant.

  2. RIP Anita - a truly inspiring woman.


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