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‘Time’s Up’ on harassment and inequality

What is the Time’s Up campaign and what happened at the Golden Globes?

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‘Time’s Up’ was a movement set up in response to the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, in order to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Formally set up on the 1st January 2018, with the publication of a letter of solidarity, it has very quickly gained publicity due to the support of the movement by many A-list celebrities, such as Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon.

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Oprah accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award

The campaign addresses the shocking figures that really highlight why change is necessary; it reports that 1/3 of women aged 18 to 34 are sexually harassed at work, with almost 1/2 of working women in the USA having experienced harassment in the workplace. In addition, the gap between men and women at work is still present, with women only making up around 1/10 of senior leaders in large companies, and the fact that only around 4% of the top-grossing directions from 2007-2016 were female, including only 1 of Latin origin. These figures are shared to help bring attention to the inequality that still occurs in the working world, in the hopes that by bringing attention to these issues, they can be fixed.

In addition, the campaign has set up a legal defence fund to help individuals who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and to bring justice to those who have wronged them. It allows individuals access to lawyers, attorneys and the like, in order for them to receive the legal help that they need. Furthermore, they provide information on services to help people who are victims of harassment in terms of how to identify harassment, how to recover from it, and how to stop it from occurring again; these include BetterBrave, the EEOC, Lean On and RAIIN.

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Actresses taking part in the ‘blackout’ on the red carpet

The Time’s Up campaign reached its height due to the response by actors and actresses at the 2018 Golden Globes awards, held on the 7th January. To help raise awareness of the campaign, around 300 actors and actresses wore black, and several decided to bring activists as their guest to the carpet, such as Emma Watson, who brought Marai Larasi, the director of Imkaan – a UK based black/minority women’s organisation working to prevent and respond to violence against marginalised European girls and women. The ‘blackout’ on the red carpet at such a high profile event gained huge attention from the press, along with the passionate speeches made by those such as Oprah, who stated that, “A new day is on the horizon… where nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again.” In response to the event, over $15 million has been donated by celebrities and the public towards the legal defence fund, in order to help even more people who have been victims of inequality and harassment. In addition, many celebrities have decided to auction their Golden Globes outfits, to raise yet more money for the cause.

Let us hope that the hard work of so many will, in the future, create a world in which all people are equal, and harassment and discrimination is a thing of the past.

“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time we do something about it.” – Time’s Up

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Letter of Solidarity

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