Bianca Jagger: I want to talk about women. They just want to talk about my hair and make-up

My Week: Sunday. I woke up feeling unwell, still jet lagged from my Virgin flight from New York. Flying makes me ill since my flat in New York became contaminated with toxic mould

Share
Related Topics

Sunday. I woke up feeling unwell, still jet lagged from my Virgin flight from New York. Flying makes me ill since my flat in New York became contaminated with toxic mould. I attended mass at the Brompton Oratory, and after lunch I went home to pack for my trip to Hamburg, where I will be receiving a World Achievement Award from Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president. Watching the BBC and CNN Reagan coverage brought back memories of the Iran-Contra war, a bloody period for my homeland, Nicaragua: tens of thousands of people died. The country has never been able to recover fully.

Sunday. I woke up feeling unwell, still jet lagged from my Virgin flight from New York. Flying makes me ill since my flat in New York became contaminated with toxic mould. I attended mass at the Brompton Oratory, and after lunch I went home to pack for my trip to Hamburg, where I will be receiving a World Achievement Award from Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president. Watching the BBC and CNN Reagan coverage brought back memories of the Iran-Contra war, a bloody period for my homeland, Nicaragua: tens of thousands of people died. The country has never been able to recover fully.

Monday. Rushed to catch my BA flight to Germany. I'm due to receive an award which for four years has gone only to distinguished males such as the Pope, Simon Wiesenthal, Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner, Luciano Pavarotti, Sir Paul McCartney, Michael Douglas, and the New York Fire Department. Apparently this year the organisers realised that women also make an equally important contribution to society and have introduced a women's category. It is flattering to be chosen but I was worried that the glitter and media frenzy surrounding the event might detract from the very issues for which I was chosen to receive the award. In the end, I decided it would give me a platform from which to raise some vital and life threatening issues - discrimination, violence and injustice - which millions of woman confront every day. My fellow recipients were an impressive bunch: Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Oprah Winfrey, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Waris Dirie, the model, Valentina Tereshkova, the first female astronaut, Agnes Wessalowski, participant in a special Olympics team, and Vivienne Westwood. As soon as I arrived in Hamburg I learnt there were problems with the travel arrangements for Whitney Houston. On reaching my hotel, the Kempinski, I headed for my room to write my speech about violence against women for the following morning's opening of the Women's World Congress, of which I was president. Still jet lagged, I got to sleep at 3am.

Tuesday. The weather is beautiful. So much for the forecast of rain all week. After opening the women's congress, I participated in a press conference with Mr Gorbachev, the mayor of Hamburg, the organisers and others. There was a good media turnout and good interest in the women's awards, but also much interest in Gorbachev's reaction to Reagan's death. As I had not eaten since my arrival I rushed back to the town hall to grab some lunch. The Whitney Houston problem continues. Realising I had yet to get my attire for tonight in check I rushed to Jil Sander's store. She just happens to have started her empire in Hamburg. That evening I continued talking to Gorbachev - through a translator. There was so much I wanted to ask him about the prolonged negotiations with Reagan which led to the end of the Cold War, his views of President George W Bush's "war on terror". I asked him if he thought the breakthroughs he reached with Reagan would have been achieved had Bush been in power, rather than Reagan. He gave a knowing smile and left me in no doubt that he believed they wouldn't.

Wednesday. I wake up to thunderous rain and lightning. Whitney Houston still hasn't arrived, the crew of her private plane having failed to arrange the necessary permits to land in Hamburg. I spent the early morning writing my closing remarks for the congress and my acceptance speech. I decide to dedicate my award to the countless women I have met in my life who have been victims of discrimination. I first learnt the meaning of discrimination watching my mother being discriminated against because she was divorced. At 7.35pm, hair and make-up complete, I headed off for the hall. As I was approaching the hall a group of women holding banners were protesting about the government plan to close one of the few available shelter facilities for victims of domestic violence. After a brief chat with them, I decided to raise the issue during my speech. Whitney has finally arrived. She was charming, and rounded off the evening by singing with her cousin Dionne Warwick. Ironically, while the organisers wanted to recognise women's accomplishments, in the end the media focused on the looks and glamour rather than the substance of the women.

Thursday. Award in hand I fly back to London, in election mode. Fifteen months ago, at an anti-war rally, I urged Blair to "listen to the voices of reason" among the British people (rather than to George Bush), and not to attack Iraq. Well, he listened to Bush, and today he will pay the electoral price.

Friday. Woke up feeling exhausted and ill. Oh dear, I've promised the IoS to put together this column. Duty calls.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road