Scottish Conference 2017 Speakers


Dr Matthew Waites

Dr Matthew Waites is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Glasgow. His interdisciplinary research focuses on human rights, socio-legal and criminalisation issues at a global level, especially in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, drawing together sociology, law and socio-legal studies, criminology and politics.

His co-edited book Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (2013) provides the most internationally extensive analysis of the global struggle for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual behaviour to date. Matthew’s research has also focused on developing the sociology of human rights. His future research agenda will involve applying sociological analysis of human rights to national and transnational lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) politics and movements.

(talk title: Transnational queer politics, young people and decolonising education in Commonwealth contexts)

Mary Smith

Mary Smith is a writer, freelance journalist and poet based in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

She worked abroad for ten years, in Pakistan, where she set up a health education department in the national leprosy centre, and in Afghanistan. There, she established a low-key mother and child care programme providing skills and knowledge to women health volunteers.  

She has written a memoir, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women, about her work, which allows readers to meet and get to know Afghan women and their families and provides an authentic insight into daily life in Afghanistan. Her debut novel, No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.

(talk title: Talking About Sex in Afghanistan)



Mary Hepburn

Mary Hepburn BSc MD MRCGP FRCOG trained first as a GP and then as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Her main interest is in the effects of poverty and inequality on health and access to services. She established and, until her retirement from clinical practice in July 2014, was consultant in charge of the Glasgow Women’s Reproductive Health Service for women with social problems (now the medically led component of the Glasgow Special Needs in Pregnancy Service). Dr Hepburn continues to contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and to training for medical and non medical professionals nationally and internationally. She has provided training and support with service development nationally and internationally and continues to work as a consultant for various NGOs in developing and /or resource poor countries.

(talk title: Health Inequalities and Reproductive Choices)



Beth Tadesse

Bethel Tadesse is a 20 year old university student, studying for a joint honours in Education Studies with Social Care. She began working with Integrate in March of this year, having already started her own organisation, Hidden Scars Project, in February 2015. With both, she leads sessions to raise awareness of gender-based issues, such as FGM.

(talk title: Female Genital Mutilation)


Dr Kate Lister

Dr. Kate Lister is a researcher at Leeds Trinity University in historical attitudes to sexuality and sex work. She has published on the history of media narratives around sex work, the history of menstruation and sexual violence in historical dramas. She is the curator of the popular Twitter account @WhoresofYore where she tweets the history of illicit sex and works to promote sex worker rights and challenge stigma to over 70,000 followers. Kate recently launched, to archive the work of sex workers, activists, academics and artists, and bring the message of sexual positivity to an even wider audience.

Kate has been invited to speak at the 2017 International Eroticon Conference on the history of pornography, as well as social media, providing a space for sex worker's voice to be heard.  She works with a Sex Work Research Hub, and Basis Yorkshire to conduct research into all aspect of sex work and make sex work safer. Kate is delivering a lecture on her work into sex worker rights and Twitter at the international "Displacing Sex for Sale" conference in Copenhagen next March.  Kate appears on radio, local television and podcasts to spread a sex positive message and dismantle stigma.

(talk title: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow: Getting to the Root of Pubic Hair)