Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: All the news you need to know on 22/1/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your new daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece. 

Women’s marches held across the globe 

Protesters at the Time’s Up rally in London

People of all genders, ages and backgrounds took to the streets in cities around the world over the weekend, on the one-year anniversary of the first Women’s Marches and Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president. 

But if Trump was the focus of much of the anger at the marches in 2017, this time around everyone was talking about the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. Thousands of people braved the rain and snow in London to march to Downing Street, with speakers including Stylist cover star Reni Eddo-Lodge and Labour MP Stella Creasy.

The weather was markedly brighter at the Women’s March in Los Angeles, where an estimated 500,000 people watched Scarlett Johansson call out James Franco – who has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women – for wearing a Time’s Up pin while “privately preying on people who have no power”. Viola Davis cited Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in her barnstorming speech, while Natalie Portman spoke about being a victim of “sexual terrorism” as a young teenager in Hollywood.

See our picks of the best signs at the Time’s Up Women’s March in London here

Embarrassment causing women to skip smear tests, says charity 

One in four women do not attend smear tests at all, according to new research

New research has found that more than a third of UK women avoid attending cervical cancer screenings because they’re embarrassed about the appearance of their vulva. The charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust surveyed 2,017 women aged between 25 and 64 and found that almost 40% put off going for a smear test because of concerns about smelling “normally”.

One in four did not attend smear tests at all – a figure that rose to one in three among 25- to 29-year-olds. Around 1,000 women die every year from cervical cancer in the UK, making these findings even more worrying.

“Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers so it is a big worry that so many young women, those who are most at risk of the disease, are unaware of the importance of attending,” said Robert Music, the chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. “It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to non-attendance.

“Please don’t let unhappiness or uncertainty about your body stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test.”

You can read more about the research here. If you’re one of the many women who has never attended a cervical screening, a doctor explains what it’s really like here

Pay gap will widen and hit women hardest if action isn’t taken in tech 

Inequality in the tech industry may result in the pay gap widening in coming years

Researchers at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland have said that urgent action is needed to address inequality in the technology industries – and warned that the pay and status gaps between genders will widen dramatically unless this action is taken.

A new report on the future of jobs shows that steps to improve gender equality are being reversed by the dominance of men in sectors such as information and biotechnology, as well as the continued lack of women in senior positions in the fields of health and education.

Chillingly, the report estimates that more than half (57%) of the jobs set to be displaced by technology in the next eight years belong to women.

You can read more on the report and what it means for the future of work at The Guardian

Record number of films at Sundance directed by women 

Reed Morano, director of I Think We’re Alone Now, which is showing at the Sundance Film Festival

Women filmmakers still struggle to rise to the top in Hollywood. Research shows that women made up just 4% of directors of the top 100 grossing films of 2016, and it has been suggested that the film industry’s culture of sexual harassment and abuse was exacerbated by a relative lack of powerful women behind the scenes. Not one woman was included in the nominees for Best Director at the 2018 Golden Globes, a pattern that was repeated in the BAFTA nominations. So far, so bleak.

All of which makes this news from the Sundance film festival rather uplifting. According to reports, a record number of films being shown at the prestigious indie film fest – currently taking place in Utah, USA – are directed by women.

The festival has previously launched directors including Miranda July, Ava Duvernay and Lone Scherfig into the public consciousness. Fingers crossed that this year’s festival will shine a spotlight on other deserving women filmmakers. .

Read more on this story at

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.

Images: Rex Features / iStock