Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 25/1/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your new 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 Daily Dispatch, the Prime Minister condemns a charity event at which female staff were allegedly sexually harassed; North and South Korea engage in diplomacy via their women’s ice hockey teams; the Myanmar military is accused of using gang-rape as a weapon of war; and Oprah Winfrey rules out a run for president. 

Theresa May says she is “appalled” at men-only charity event attended by minister 

Prime Minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

The Prime Minister has strongly criticised an exclusive men-only fundraising event at which the all-female staff were allegedly sexually harassed by guests.

An undercover reporter for the Financial Times attended the Presidents Club Charity Dinner on 18 January and observed hostesses being “groped, sexually harassed and propositioned”. One of the guests at the event was Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for children and families.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Theresa May said that she was “frankly appalled” by the alleged behaviour at the event.

“I thought that that sort of attitude of the objectification of women was something that was in the past, that we had managed to overcome,” she said.

However, the Prime Minister defended Zahawi, who she said left the dinner early because he was “uncomfortable” about the tenor of the evening. She also rebuffed the suggestion that laws against sexual harassment should be introduced, saying that it was more important to tackle “attitudes”.

“Sadly I think what we saw from this Presidents Club is this is about attitudes and it is about saying that actually, women are not objects just to be used by men,” she said.

Read the full story at The Telegraph

North and South Korean women’s hockey players start Olympic training together 

The North Korean and South Korean women’s ice hockey teams with play together

In the last 12 months, North Korea has seemed like more of a potential threat to the West than at any time since the Cold War (thanks largely to the antagonistic approach of one Donald Trump). But while all signs indicate that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is aggressively opposed to friendly interactions with the US, there is one country he seems keen to improve relations with: South Korea.

Nowhere has the warming of cross-Korean relations been played out more symbolically than in the preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics. It was recently announced that the North and South Korean women’s hockey teams would play together in the games, due to take place next month in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

Twelve members of the North Korean women’s ice hockey team crossed the border into South Korea on Thursday to begin training. An eight-person delegation, representing North Korea’s ministry of sports, was also expected to arrive.

However, not everyone in South Korea is pleased that their sports teams are being affected by international diplomacy. Protesters were reported to have set fire to North Korean flags and pictures of Kim Jong-un in the South Korean capital of Seoul earlier this week, and the South Korean president’s approval rating has also dipped.

Read the full story at NPR

Myanmar army accused of gang-raping Rohingya women

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been accused of ignoring the plight of the Rohingya people

The Rohingya people have been subjected to ongoing violence and persecution in Myanmar since at least 2016. Now, a disturbing video report by Al Jazeera says that the Buddhist military in Myanmar are using gang rape as a weapon of war against the Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim minority ethnic group.

The United Nations has described the military offensive in Rakhine – the state where nearly all the Rohingya in Myanmar live – as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya men, women and children have fled as refugees to neighbouring Bangladesh since the fighting started.

Watch the full report via Al Jazeera

Oprah Winfrey says she will not run for president in 2020

Oprah Winfrey has shut down speculation that she would run for president

After her electrifying speech at the Golden Globes on 7 January, speculation reached fever pitch that Oprah Winfrey could run for US president. Those in the #Oprah2020 camp argued that the Winfrey had all the qualities (intelligence, warmth, empathy, relatability) currently missing from mainstream politics. Others were unconvinced by the prospect of another TV celebrity presidency, observing that she had never held elected office before.

However, Winfrey herself has now ruled out the idea of running for president. Speaking to US InStyle, the actress, businesswoman, philanthropist and broadcaster said that she was uninterested in occupying the White House.

“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” she said. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”

She also quoted her best friend, the US TV journalist Gayle King, who said: “It wouldn’t be good for you – it would be good for everyone else.”

Read the full interview at InStyle

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