Lida van den Broek
In 1970, Lida van den Broek was one of the initiators of organisations such as ‘buurtactiewerk’ (neighbourhood action) and in 1980 of the Women’s Project in de Pijp, at the time a working-class neighbourhood in Amsterdam. She became the first Ombudswoman in Amsterdam and in 1983 founded Kantharos, a training and consulting firm, of which she is Director. She manages projects on organisational development, research and implementation, both for commercial businesses and for civil society organisations.
Lida van den Broek obtained a doctorate in Organisational Anthropology in 2009 with a thesis on ethnical diversity at work. She is the author on publications on racism, multicultural organisational development, the position of women, as well as on addressing harassment, intimidation and discrimination at work. Lida is not only a trainer and advisor, but also a coach and mediator with experience in personal and team coaching.
Dorelies Kraakman received her university degrees Law and History. Her colourful life as a lesbian woman and mother was based on her lucid mind, militancy and humour. She instituted legal proceedings against the Netherlands – and won – because of an advertisement which discriminated against women. In 1975, Dorelies Kraakman co-founded the Heksenkelder (Witches’ Basement), the first combined women’s book store and pub in the Netherlands. She was a member of the women’s band Vendetta and was a talented cabaret artist, adding lustre to many a lesbian party with her memorable performances.
In 1982, she founded the Amsterdam Lesbian Archive, and from 1983 to 1997 she was a Board Member of Mama Cash. From 1989, she lectured at the department of Gay & Lesbian Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It became a thriving international centre partly due to her commitment. In 1997, Kraakman obtained a doctorate with her thesis ‘Kermis in de hel’ (Carnival in Hell), in which she reports on her research into lesbian history in French pornography in the 18th century.
When she died in 2002, the lesbian movement in the Netherlands lost a scholarly woman and a passionate advocate of women’s rights.
Tania Leon grew up in Wellington, South Africa, during the most severe period of apartheid. She was educated as an instructor of physical training. As a black and politically engaged lesbian, she was completely isolated in South Africa. In 1972, she emigrated to the Netherlands and became very active: initially, in the Dutch Anti-Apartheid movement, and later within various projects of the feminist black and migrant movements.
From 1983 to 1984, she was a Board Member of Mama Cash. In 1984, she was a co-founder of Sister Outsider, a group of black lesbian women, and of Flamboyant, a national documentation centre for black and migrant women.
In 1986, together with friends, Tania Leon founded the Study Fund for Black South African Women, which was named after her when she died. Both in her work – her last job was teaching at the Vrouwenvakschool Informatica (Women’s Vocational School for ICT) in Amsterdam – and in her personal life, she inspired other people with her resilience and humour. Tania Leon died in 1996. She stood tall in spite of considerable opposition.
Marjan Sax grew up in Amsterdam. She studied political science and did pioneering work in many fields of the women’s and lesbian movements from the 1970’s. She was an active member of Dolle Mina (Mad Mina, a women’s liberation group), and she was one of the founders of women’s consciousness raising groups in 1972. In 1976, she was one of the occupiers of abortion clinic Bloemenhove, which enforced legalisation of abortion in the Netherlands. She was also one of the initiators of the Women’s Studies department at the University of Amsterdam and later of the Lesbian Archives in Amsterdam. As Director of the Open School Amsterdam North Trial Project, she contributed to the development of new types of adult education at the end of the seventies.
She used the legacy left to her by her parents to co-found Mama Cash together with four other women in 1983. She supported Mama Cash for twenty years and held many positions, in addition to Chair of the Board: at different moments she was responsible for general policy, financial policy, PR and media, international contacts and resource mobilisation. She also founded Women with Inherited Wealth (Erfdochters), a network of women with inherited wealth.
In addition, she was a member of the Pink Thread, a group of feminist allies of the Red Thread, an organisation for sex worker rights in the 1980’s, and she worked at Stichting Vrouw & Media (Women & Media Foundation) which carried out research on the position of women journalists at newspapers. Since 1997, she is active in Vrouwen tegen Uitzetting (Women against Eviction), a cooperation of female refugees and Dutch women with the aim to enhance the position of women refugees.
She is also an author and holds positions on various boards, including Women on Web, which advocates for safe medical abortion by means of the abortion pill. Since 2003, she has been an independent advisor on ‘sensible investments in social change’ through her company, Sax Consultancy. She also operates the Donor Academy where people learn about philanthropy and how to make meaningful decisions about donating money. She received various honours, including the Zilveren Anjer (Silver Carnation) of the Prince Bernhard Fund.
Patti Slegers studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a General Practitioner in Amsterdam from 1990 to 2009. In 2009, she emigrated to Australia. She worked for International SOS in Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. She settled in Queensland, Australia in 2012 where she continues to practice medicine. From 1983 to 1997, she was a Board Member of Mama Cash.