As part of our Visible Women initiative, stylist.co.uk 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 tonight’s Women’s Daily Dispatch, a global survey has revealed the world’s most admired women. Elsewhere, young women in Tanzania are being vaccinated against cervical cancer; Bollywood actresses are speaking out about #MeToo; and women in China are highlighting a decades-old rape case in their fight against sexual abuse.
These are the world’s most admired women
Every year, international polling organisation YouGov releases the results of its survey into the world’s most admired people. The results for 2018 were published today, drawn from the answers of more than 37,000 people around the world – and they indicate we’re all very impressed by celebrities, philanthropists, activists and royals.
Angelina Jolie was the most-admired woman overall, the third year in a row she has topped the list. She was followed by Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II and Hillary Clinton. Bringing up the rear in the top 10 were Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel, Taylor Swift and Madonna, while UK Prime Minister Theresa May came in at number 15.
The list of the world’s most-admired men included Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Jackie Chan. Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin came in at numbers four and six respectively.
See the full rankings at YouGov.co.uk.
Tanzania launches cervical cancer vaccine for young women
More than 600,000 girls in Tanzania are to be vaccinated against cervical cancer, as the government moves to protect young women against the potentially deadly illness.
Girls between the ages of nine and 14 have begun receiving vaccinations against the disease, which is the most common cancer in Tanzania and kills more women than any other form of the illness.
“Prevention is better than cure, elongating lives and reducing treatment costs,” said Dr Daphrosa Lyimo, who is overseeing the government initiative.
Poor countries are disproportionately affected by cervical cancer, which kills more than 800 women a year in the UK. The five countries with the highest fatality rates for the illness are in Africa: Malawi, Mozambique, Comoros, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Indian actresses begin to break the silence on #MeToo
The #MeToo movement was unleashed in Hollywood last autumn in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and saw several prominent men taken down as a result of allegations of sexual harassment and assault. By many measures, the Bollywood film industry is even bigger and more prolific than its Stateside counterpart – but the campaign against sexual harassment has so far failed to break through in the same way in India.
However, that looks like it might be beginning to change. The Washington Post reports that a handful of Bollywood actresses have started to speak out about sexual misconduct in the Indian film industry, including former child star Daisy Irani, who has described being abused by many men throughout her career.
“Whoever felt they wanted to, would touch me,” she said. “Even if I had told the director, would he have cared?”
Actor Mona Mathews observed that women in Bollywood tended to be afraid that coming forward about sexual misconduct would jeopardise their careers. “People want to talk, but they are scared,” she said. “They don’t want to be in the limelight for the wrong reasons.”
Mahesh Bhatt, a prominent male film director, agreed that attitudes towards sexual harassment in India made it extremely difficult for actors to speak out. “I’m told by people that there are innumerable such characters [like Weinstein] here,” he said. “But here in India, there is a lot of victim-blaming. If you have been propositioned, people will say you had it coming.”
In February, Priyanka Chopra – one of Bollywood’s most internationally famous stars – said that she hoped #MeToo would change things. “It’s a great time for females to dig their feet in and say that we’re just, we’re not gonna settle anymore,” she told the Today show.
Read more on this story here.
Decades-old rape case heightens emotions around sexual assault in China
China is another country where the #MeToo movement has struggled to gain traction, thanks largely to the government’s censorship of media and the internet. However, renewed attention on a 20-year-old rape and suicide case has sparked conversations about the sexual abuse of women.
Gao Yan was a Chinese literature student at Peking University when she took her own life in 1998. Her friends and family say she told them she had been raped by Shen Yang, at the time a professor at the university. Gao also told her classmates that Shen had spread rumours that she was mentally ill.
Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Gao’s death, her friends shared memories of her life and her allegations against Shen on social media. “Twenty years have passed,” one former classmate wrote in an open letter to Shen. “Your constant lies and crimes should be put to an end.”
The letter went viral, prompting several Chinese universities to condemn Shen’s behaviour.
Read more on this story 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: Getty Images / Mariamichelle / Pixabay