On 23 December 2010, 77-year-old Jayaben Desai, the militant leader of the Grunwick strike (1976-1978) passed away.
‘There was another powerful political lady with a handbag other than Thatcher in the 1970s’, wrote Jenny Bourne when reviewing a DVD on the struggle at the factory, ‘A tiny woman, usually swathed in a bulky cardigan, almost always seen with a megaphone. An Asian lady in a sari, a bindi always on her forehead, with a gentle voice and large, reproachful eyes. This was Jayaben Desai, leader of the strikers at the Grunwick film-processing factory in North London.’ (Read the full review of the DVD: The Great Grunwick strike 1976-1978: a history here.)
In March last year young filmmakers from west London interviewed Jayaben for Hidden Herstories which documented the impact on society made by four women. (See the Hidden Herstories website here and free copies of the Hidden Herstories DVD are available directly from the Octavia Foundation.)
Read an obituary in the Guardian (28 December 2010) here
Guardian news story: ‘Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick dispute, dies aged 77’
IRR News review of Hidden Herstories DVD: ‘Young people’s film on women who changed the world’
Download the Hidden Herstories magazine (pdf file, 4.5mb)