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Lesley Abdela MBE


Lesley Abdela MBE, winner of the ‘2009 UK Woman Political Journalist of the Year’, has worked in over 40 countries and had experience as a civilian working in post-conflict Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Aceh Indonesia and Nepal. As well as a journalist she is an Expert Consultant advising Governments, International Organisations and Civil Society on Democracy, Women’s Human Rights and Gender. Lesley started her career as an advertising Executive, then researcher in the House of Commons, House of Lords and stood for Parliament. Her award winning work spans over 20 years in the fields of gender, human rights, human resources and democratic empowerment. Lesley is also a journalist, broadcaster and speaker on the international circuit.  

TV presentation / Media experience

As an experienced and accomplished Public Speaker and TV and Radio Presenter Lesley has been a guest on; BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour; A Good Read, Great Lives, BBC World Service, BBC TV Question Time, ‘Have I Got News for You’.  Her articles have been in many publications including The Guardian, Times, Sunday and Financial Times, The Independent, Observer, Economist and The Washington Post. She wrote and presented the BBC Television documentary on women in UK Politics called Women with X appeal. She was also a consultant for the BBC series about women at work.

Published Work

Her published work includes; ‘Communication Skills Manual for women in politics; ‘Breaking through the Glass Ceilings’, Do it! – Walk the Talk’; ‘Women with X Appeal’, ‘What Women Want’; ‘A strange old mother’; ‘No press pass for women’s magazines’; ‘Breaking through glass ceilings’ and ‘Stay healthy while you travel’.

Beijing Express Declaration

In 1995 Lesley Abdela joined a multinational group of 200 women from the 29 former Soviet Union and satellite nations.  They travelled 8000 kilometres aboard a half-kilometre-long train from Warsaw via Mongolia to Beijing for the UN 4th Global Conference On Women.  The train was sponsored by the UNDP and became known as ‘The Beijing Express’.

On board the Beijing Express, a 12-member Working Group was created from the 200 delegates and chaired by Lesley Abdela who was the UK delegate. Lesley was sponsored by the British Council and UK FCO to conduct Democracy skills workshops aboard the Beijing Express.  For more information on this, please follow the link below: