Nominees were announced at FiLiA2021 and introduced by the winner of the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize 2020: Freya. Learn more about Freya’s work and those nominated in 2021.
At the age of 81, Clare Devlin went public about the child sexual abuse that she had been subjected to by her father, a highly celebrated judge and law lord. As well as testifying at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Clare also gave an interview which was published in the Observer. The public discussion she has contributed to touches on both the prevalence of child sexual abuse as well as the ways in which powerful abusers have been protected by institutions and by other influential men.
Daisy has devoted the last nine years to an extraordinary one-woman campaign for justice against her birth father after she learnt that she had been conceived through the rape of her mother, who was only 13 at the time of the attack. Due to her campaign, and her repeated efforts to convince West Midlands Police to reinvestigate, her birth father was finally convicted of rape in July 2021. It is believed to be the first case in which the DNA of a person conceived in rape has been used to convict the perpetrator. Daisy is now leading a nationwide campaign for children conceived by rape to be recognised in law as secondary victims of the crime.
After being abused and sexually exploited as a child and young woman, Julie Swede has spent the last fifteen years advocating for the rights of prostituted women. Besides volunteering with numerous projects providing support to other women, Julie has recently acted as a claimant in a case that aims to free prostituted women from the burden of old convictions for soliciting being disclosed to employers or anyone else who runs a DBS check on them. The case has already led to changes in UK law and is now being taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
Keira was referred to the Tavistock clinic aged 15 while struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. The clinic affirmed her negative feelings about her female body and referred her for puberty blocking treatment to support a medical gender transition. Keira is now detransitioned but this treatment has had serious detrimental consequences for Keira’s long-term physical and mental health. Keira has held the clinic to account by bringing a judicial review of their policy on giving puberty blocking drugs to children, which has resulted in an increase in the legal safeguards protecting children from potentially damaging and unnecessary medical interventions.
Natalie is the founder of #thecourtsaid, a campaign to challenge the mishandling of domestic abuse within the family courts. Drawing on her own experiences, Natalie has worked tirelessly to reach women around the world through her Facebook and Twitter pages. She has also organised a major demonstration in Parliament Square. Her campaign has gained an increasingly high public profile, as Natalie was recently a major contributor to a Channel 4 documentary on the family courts and has also featured in the Guardian, the Daily Express, and on the BBC. She has founded a not for profit called Survivor Family Network. Besides all her campaigning work, Natalie continues to work behind the scenes to support other mothers going through the family courts after domestic abuse.
Nicola campaigns for the preservation of women-only single sex spaces. Much of her campaigning with the group Fair Play for Women has employed a strategy of undertaking high quality research in order to give her arguments clarity and a strong empirical base. Nicola’s campaigns have included organising a Freedom of Information requests campaign to uncover how police forces are recording suspects’ self-described gender as sex, and campaigns focusing on female prisoners being incarcerated alongside males who have committed violent and sexual offences. Fair Play for Women also judicially reviewed the Office for National Statistics, and were successful in ensuring that the census continues to record accurate data about biological sex.
Drawing on her decades of experience in the women’s sector, Shonagh set up the charity Aurora New Dawn, which is dedicated to ending violence against women. Alongside this work, Shonagh has completed a PhD focusing on the silencing tactics used against feminists arguing for the importance of single sex spaces. She has published her doctoral research and regularly speaks at public events, as well as maintaining a blog speaking out about a range of feminist issues.