A group of UK-based women from the entertainment industry have come together to challenge the sexual harassment, assault and discrimination that persists across all industries and sections of society.
Signing an open letter in The Observer, over 200 actors and actresses including Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley and Tom Hiddleston said “this movement is bigger than just a change in our industry alone. This movement is intersectional, with conversations across race, class, community, ability and work environment, to talk about the imbalance of power.”
Emma Watson is said to have donated £1m to the crowdfunded campaign, the UK Justice and Equality Fund which, in addition to the actors and actresses, has been set up by academics, activists and charity workers and is administered by the women’s aid charity Rosa.
The letter said the Bafta awards ceremony was a time to “celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement international”.
The fund will support organisations and projects across three themes: advice, support and signposting, legal and policy work and advocacy and prevention, including creating campaigns and alliances that protect women’s rights, promoting equality and ensuring safe environments.
A similar fund has been set up in the US in response to the Harvey Weinstein revelations.
Meanwhile, a survey by Legal Week has found that two-thirds of female lawyers have experienced sexual harassment at work, with more than half targeted more than once.