In today’s Dispatch: a film about female fighters in Iraq debuts at Cannes; London Mayor Sadiq Khan launches scheme to tackle gender inequality; and tributes pour in for the late Dame Tessa Jowell.
Feminist war story about wins accolades at Cannes
A film based on the true story of Iraqi women who battled Islamic State has captured the attention of audiences at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by French filmmaker Eva Husson, Girls of the Sun tells the story of a battalion of Iraqi women who lead an attack on jihadists. They realise that their enemies fear them more than they would fear their male counterparts, as they believe they will not go to heaven as martyrs if they are killed by women.
The film was inspired by Islamic State’s attack on members of the Yazidi faith in northern Iraq in 2014, when they killed the men and traded the women and girls as sex slaves.
It premiered at Cannes just after Cate Blanchett led a demonstration by female actors, directors and producers on the red carpet in support of gender equality in the film industry.
Reuters has more on this story here.
Sadiq Khan launches scheme to increase number of female leaders in London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a groundbreaking new initiative to boost the numbers of women in leadership positions in the capital.
Called ‘Our Time: Supporting Future Leaders’, the scheme will first be implemented across City Hall, by two London councils and by one major private sector company.
The first and largest programme of its kind in the public sector, Our Time will see women paired up with workplace ‘champions’. These senior male and female colleagues will help women access the professional networks, opportunities, contacts and training they need to reach the upper echelons of their industry.
Speaking to stylist.co.uk on Monday morning, Khan described the initiative as a form of “succession planning”: a way of ensuring that women are ready to take on senior leadership roles when positions become available.
Read more on this story here.
Tessa Jowell honoured with tributes in House of Commons
Tributes have poured in for the late Labour politician Dame Tessa Jowell, who died at the age of 70 on Saturday 12 May after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Jowell, who was the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood until 2015 and a member of the House of Lords, was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. She passed away surrounded by her family, in what her husband David Mills described as a “beautiful death”.
Earlier today, Commons speaker John Bercow described Jowell as “the best of us”, and said her death had left Parliament “infinitely poorer”.
Prime Minister Theresa May praised her as an “extraordinary politician, colleague and campaigner”, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she would be remembered for her “passion, sense of social justice and fun in dealing with people”.
“She taught us how to live and she also taught us how to die,” Corbyn said.
Jowell’s passing has prompted the government to invest more money into brain cancer research. Read more about how her legacy will live on here.
Stylist’s Visible Women campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of women who’ve made a difference, celebrating their success, and empowering future generations to follow their lead. See more from Visible Women here.
Images: Getty Images