In today’s WDD, the Supreme Court makes a landmark ruling in favour of rape survivors. There’s also worrying news about how rising joblessness is affecting women, a female farmer makes history, and research reveals just how extensive a problem sexual misconduct is in the entertainment industry.
Rape survivors emerge victorious as Supreme Court throws out police appeal
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Metropolitan Police must pay £41,250 to two women raped by the serial sex attacker John Worboys, in a judgement that has been hailed as a “landmark” by human rights groups and women’s rights campaigners.
The women, known only as DSD and NBV, successfully argued that they were owed compensation due to severe failures in how the police handled their allegations against Worboys. The London black cab driver was jailed in 2009 for 19 drugging and sexual offences - several years after the two women first reported being attacked by him. He is believed to have had over 100 victims in total.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is expected to have major ramifications on how police handle investigations into violent crime, including sexual offences.
Read more about the ruling and why it matters here.
Women hit hardest as UK jobless rate rises
It has been revealed that the number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 46,000 in the three months leading up to December 2017 - and women bore the brunt of job losses.
According to new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of unemployed women rose by 35,000 between October and December, while the number of men without work rose by just 11,000. Overall, however, there are still more unemployed men (782,000) in the UK than women (689,000).
“The increase in unemployment we can see today has been driven by young women being out of work,” said Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust.
“Young women are telling us they want to work but hundreds of thousands are getting shut out of the jobs market, including by employer discrimination, low pay and unaffordable childcare.”
You can read more on this story at The Guardian.
Vast majority of women in entertainment industry say they’ve experienced harassment or assault
A staggering 94% of women in Hollywood have experienced sexual harassment or assault, according to a major new survey.
Working with three major US organisations (The Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center), USA Today polled almost 850 women working in the entertainment industry, from actors to producers, directors, writers and editors.
Nearly all of the women who responded to the survey said that they had experienced some form of harassment or assault in a professional context. More than one-fifth (21% of respondents) said they had been coerced into a sexual act at least once, while 69% said they had been touched in a sexual way.
The statistics come on the heels of the #MeToo movement, which exposed the seriousness of the problem of sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
To see the research in full, click here.
National Farmers Union elects first female president in 110 years
A beef farmer from Wiltshire has become the first woman president of the National Farmers Union in the organisation’s 110-year history.
Minette Batters defeated one opponent, Essex farmer Guy Smith, to become the most prominent farmer in the UK. Brought up on a 300-acre farm, she took over her father’s tenancy in 1998 and now owns over 300 cattle, a flock of pedigree sheep and a converted wedding venue, and also runs a home-grown produce catering business.
During the campaign, Batters said that she wanted to champion the farming industry to non-farmers and get more certainty from the government about how Brexit will affect agriculture.
“I have to say I never planned to have a career in agricultural politics,” she said. “It’s down to the encouragement and persuasion of other farmers that I am where I am today.”
BBC News has 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: Rex Features