In tonight’s WDD: the Foreign Office has appointed its first black female high commissioner, and Amnesty International has described Twitter as a “toxic place for women”. In other news, a reality show inspired by #MeToo is in the works – and Manchester United are hoping to introduce a women’s team.
UK Foreign Office appoints its first black female high commissioner
NneNne Iwuji-Eme has become the first black female career diplomat to be appointed by the UK Foreign Office as a high commissioner.
Iwuji-Eme, who has worked for the Foreign Office for 16 years, will become the British high commissioner to Mozambique in July this year. In a statement, she said that she hoped her appointment would inspire other people to pursue government careers.
“I hope my appointment as the first British black female career diplomat to this position will inspire young talent, regardless of race or background, to pursue their ambitions in the Foreign Office,” she said.
Since joining the Foreign Office Iwuji-Eme has held a number of different roles, including economic adviser for Africa, chief press officer to the Africa minister and acting prosperity consul in Brazil.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson praised Iwuji-Eme’s “vision, experience and energy”.
Read more on this story at The Guardian.
Twitter is a “toxic place for women” says Amnesty International
Amnesty International has released a damning report on how Twitter deals with the abuse faced by women online, calling it a “toxic place” for female users - particularly those from minority groups.
Timed to coincide with Twitter’s 12th birthday, the report states that the platform’s “failure to adequately respect human rights and effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform” has resulted in women “being pushed backwards to a culture of silence”.
In a survey of 1,100 British women carried out for the report, only 9% thought Twitter was doing enough to stop the abuse of women. A further 78% were too scared to share their opinions on the platform for fear of being verbally attacked.
Women from ethnic or religious minorities, LGBTQ women, non-binary individuals and those with disabilities received specific abuse targeted at their identities.
Twitter said that it disagreed with Amnesty’s report, arguing that it “cannot delete hatred and prejudice from society” and saying that it had already made more than 30 changes to its platform in the past 16 months.
However, Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said: “The trolls are currently winning, because despite repeated promises, Twitter is failing to do enough to stop them.”
Read more on this story here.
The first #MeToo reality show is in production
An Israeli television production company is creating a hidden-camera reality show inspired by the #MeToo movement.
Titled The Silence Breaker (a nod to the already iconic ‘2017 Person of the Year’ article by Time magazine), the show is billed as an investigative series that will investigate sexual harassment in the workplace.
Hidden cameras will be used to document harassment, and victims will also share their stories. Each episode will conclude with the victim confronting their harasser on camera.
Assaf Gil is the CEO of Gil Formats, the company behind the show. He said that the show would not be sensationalist and is intended to contribute to the conversation around the #MeToo movement.
“The big difference in what we are doing to what has been around on the news is that, for one, most of these incidents happened a long time ago, while we are basically shooting in real time. And a lot of the [#MeToo] stories in the news have had to do with famous people,” he says. “We feel sexual harassment is a much more widespread phenomenon…. All the women we talked to in the research for this show had some sort of history of some sort of harassment.”
The Hollywood Reporter has more on this story here.
Manchester United set to introduce professional women’s team
Manchester United have applied to have a professional women’s football team for the first time.
The club has previously been criticised for not having an adult women’s squad, in contrast to other Premier League clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. In January, England coach and former Manchester United player Phil Neville said he would take the matter up with his old team.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, said that the women’s side “must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s first team.”
Read more on this story at BBC Sport.
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 / Foreign Office / Rex Features