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Event 4: Bad Girls and Brave Women: Reflections on a Centenary

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Queen's Park

London

NW6 6HA

United Kingdom

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In this special event marking a hundred years since (some) women won the vote, writer and activist Shami Chakrabarti, biographer Rachel Holmes and author Caitlin Davies will discuss the rich history of women in Britain from exceptional political pioneers to non-conformist rebels to the invisible women who don’t usually make it into the history books. Along the way, we will reflect on how much progress has been made, the divides that still exist between women with power and women without, and the high price of a life in politics.

Baroness Chakrabarti CBE is the Shadow Attorney General. A lawyer, she is Chancellor of the University of Essex, Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Manchester, Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford and a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. Baroness Chakrabarti was Director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties from 2003 to 2016, and a member of the panel of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial inquiry into UK phone hacking in 2011. She was awarded a CBE in 2007, was one of eight bearers of the Olympic Flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics and chaired the Baileys Prize for Womens’ Fiction in 2015.

Rachel Holmes’ new book, Eleanor Marx: A Life was published by Bloomsbury in 2014, described by Golden PEN Award winner Gillian Slovo as “a dazzling account of a woman and her family, an age and a movement, that grips from the first page to the last.” In 2010 she received an Arts Council cultural leadership award as one of Britain’s Fifty Women to Watch. Rachel Holmes has worked with and for British Council literature festivals and international programmes since 2000. Since 2012 she has been the UK chair of the Iraq Literature Festival. She was recently chosen to be one of the writers on the literary tour for the UK – Russia Year of Culture.

Caitlin Davies was born in London in 1964. She is the author of five novels and five non-fiction books, and has worked as a teacher and freelance journalist for 25 years. In 1989 she moved to Botswana where she worked for the country’s first tabloid newspaper, the Voice, and later as editor of the Okavango Observer. She received a Journalist of the Year award. From 2014-2017 she worked as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Westminster, Harrow, in the faculty of Media, Arts & Design.

Melissa Benn is a writer, journalist and campaigner. She was educated at Holland Park comprehensive and the London School of Economics where she graduated with a First in history. Before becoming a full time writer, she worked for the National Council for Civil Liberties, the Open University, Women in Prison and the London magazine City Limits. As a freelance writer, her essays and journalism have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Independent,The Times, Public Finance, Marxism Today, the London Review of Books, Cosmopolitan and Public Finance. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and New Statesman.


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Where is the venue?

All venues are located near each other in Queen's Park itself which is a five minute walk from either Queen’s Park underground station or Brondesbury Park overground station.

Is there parking at Queen's Park?

There is limited parking immediately surrounding Queen’s Park and in the roads immediately adjacent to the park. You are strongly advised to use public transport to get to the festival.

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Queen's Park

London

NW6 6HA

United Kingdom

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