Jennie, Tania and Kalbir Bains, author at the IKWRO Awards 2017

What an astounding International Women’s Week it’s been.

On Tuesday, Giants was awarded a certificate from IKWRO at their True Honour Awards. It is given in memory of all victims of “honour” killing, and for work done to support survivors of enforced marriage, FGM and domestic violence.

Tania and I were involved with the extraordinary women from IKWRO last year: and their stories are embedded in our play Piece of Silk. We met women who have not only survived being sold as a child bride or the torture of FGM, but have turned their experiences into successes: these women are lawyers, writers, health workers, film-makers, activists and educators nationally and internationally!

Thank you Diana Nammi for founding IKWRO – Outstanding Woman of the Year 2014 – and every year!  And Sara Browne for organising the awards. Legends!

Wednesday and we’re at the House of Lords to celebrate International Women’s Day from the point of view of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller Women. The Committee Room was packed not just with friends and supporters of the GRT community, but peers and MPs. It’s staggering that the GRT community have been living in the UK for over 500 years and still are not recognised – acknowledged – officially; instead they are subjected to the worst kind of discrimination and racism. Time for GRT to be included as an option on the census! Time to acknowledge and celebrate them. The women we worked with to create Never Going to Beat You are not merely Giants’ collaborators, but true friends. Thank you Yvonne, Tina, Josie, and ALL at The Traveller Movement.

And if you can, do catch the film/documentary on the AWESOME Maya Angelou – And Still I Rise. It was part of the BFI, WOW and African Odysseys season: Dr Angelou was not just giant of African-American literature: she had been a singer, dancer, film actor, mentor and friend of legends such as Oprah Winfey and James Baldwin… AND she even made Tupac Shakur cry!!! (in a good way!)

What a great week!




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