Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 1/2/18

Posted by
Susan Devaney

As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your 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.    

In today’s WDD: a life-extending drug for breast cancer patients is approved in England; stars prepare to wear black to the BAFTAs in support of Time’s Up; we pick out the highlights from Carrie Gracie’s equal pay speech to parliament; and Scotland’s future looks different as the country passes a new domestic abuse law. 

New domestic abuse law passed in Scotland

The new domestic abuse bill received a standing ovation from MPs. 

A law setting a “gold standard” for domestic abuse legislation, combining both emotional and physical abuse into the same offence, has been passed by the Scottish parliament. 

The domestic abuse bill, which received a standing ovation from MPs, creates a specific offence of “abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner”. The law covers not only physical abuse but other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour, which until now, has been difficult to prosecute due to the existing law.

“Women have been telling us for years that it is emotional abuse that is most harmful. One of the unique things about this bill is that it privileges the experiences of women and children. That’s why Scotland’s approach to domestic abuse is so radical,” said Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid.

Read more at BBC News

Life-extending drug for terminal breast cancer patients approved

“This is the best news patients with Her2-positive breast cancer and their doctors could have hoped for.” 

NHS doctors in England are now able to prescribe a life-extending drug called pertuzumab to patients with terminal breast cancer, after an affordable price cut made it available.

The decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will allow patients with incurable advanced breast cancer to live up to 16 months longer. 

Pertuzumab, sold under the brand name Perjeta, had previously been too expensive to be considered for NHS use. However, the health service managed to strike a new deal at the end of last year.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, welcomed the change. 

“This is the best news patients with Her2-positive breast cancer and their doctors could have hoped for,” she said. “Perjeta is a truly life-changing drug and we are absolutely delighted and relieved that Nice has finally been able to recommend it for routine NHS use in England.”

The drug is not currently available for other women suffering from breast cancer in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. 

Read more on this development at The Guardian

Women set to wear black to the BAFTAS in support of Time’s Up

From Nicole Kidman to Reese Witherspoon, the vast majority of stars wore black to walk the red carpet at the Golden Globes. 

Awards ceremonies have started to look very different in 2018, as people working in the arts and entertainment industries continue to show solidarity towards the Time’s Up initiative.

Now, actors and actresses invited to the 71st British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) are set to take a cue from those who attended the Golden Globes.  

A letter has reportedly been sent to BAFTA invitees, asking them to wear all black to the awards ceremony later this month as a sign of unity with victims of sexual abuse and harassment. 

The event, which celebrates talent in film and television, will be hosted by Joanna Lumley, the first woman to do so in 10 years.

Read more here.

Carrie Gracie makes stunning equal pay speech to parliament

The former China editor for BBC News resigned from her position earlier this month due to a pay disparity at the BBC.

Journalist and broadcaster Carrie Gracie appeared before the parliamentary digital, culture, media and sport select committee this week, to discuss pay inequality at the BBC.

The former China editor for BBC News resigned from her position in January, citing the pay disparity between men and women employees at the broadcaster. During the two-hour parliamentary hearing, she made powerful points on the BBC’s gender pay gap. 

Recalling the moment she discovered the pay disparity between male and female international editors, Gracie said: “I said [before taking the job as China editor] that I had to be paid equally. I knew, as did many other women in the BBC, that we had been underpaid by comparison to male peers.”

“I knew I’d give the China job every last ounce of my skill and stamina, I knew I’d do that job at least as well as any man, [and] I insisted on equal pay,” she continued. 

“I thought I had won a commitment to pay parity when I set off to China, which is why I got such a shock last July when I discovered that two men as international editors were being paid at least 50% more than the two women international editors.”

Read more here.

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