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 WDD: Black Panther’s inspirational elderly star speaks out, the global financial cost of violence against women is revealed, and Claire Foy addresses The Crown’s gender pay gap for the first time.
The 92-year-old star of Black Panther speaks out
If you’re one of the many, many people who have seen Black Panther, you’ll likely have been blown away by 92-year-old Dorothy Steel, who plays a merchant tribe elder in the blockbuster film.
Now, the elderly thespian has given an interview that’s guaranteed to inspire anyone considering a career change. Steel, who was born and raised in Detroit and now lives in Riverdale, Georgia in the US, only started acting in her 80s and didn’t get an agent until she was 89. Now, however, she has appeared in one of the biggest films of the century, and gets stopped by excited fans in the supermarket.
Steel previously worked for the US government, and started appearing in local plays at a senior centre in Georgia nearly a decade ago. She quickly became a local legend for her hilarious interpretations of characters, which led to her getting an agent, which – ultimately – led to her getting the call about Black Panther.
“Hopefully, somebody who at 55 or 60 has decided, ‘This is all I can do,’ they will realise they have 35 more years to get things together,” Steel says. “Start now. It’s never too late. … Keep your mind open and keep faith in yourself that you can do this thing. All you have to do is step out there.”
Read the full interview with Steel at the Washington Post.
Global financial cost of violence against women revealed
Of course, there are many more important reasons to be opposed to violence against women than cold, hard cash. But while experiencing domestic violence and other forms of abuse is hugely harmful to women’s psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing, it also has a detrimental effect on the global economy.
That’s according to a new report by humanitarian charity CARE International, the organisers of the annual #March4Women, which found that violence against women costs society upwards of 2% of its global GDP. The report looked at several studies from around the world and encompassed the costs of violence-related issues including medical bills, relocation, damage to women’s income and costs to state institutions.
While focusing on the economic cost of violence against women might be interpreted as callous, CARE International says that it can actually be an effective way of encouraging governments to do more to tackle the problem.
“Economic costs help us understand, at least to some extent, the scale of a problem in financial terms, to individuals, families, communities and society,” the report reads.
“This is a clear indication to national governments, including finance ministries, as well as private corporations and other entities as to why investment in this area is critical.”
Read the report here.
Claire Foy addresses The Crown’s gender pay gap for the first time
Producers of Netflix’s The Crown recently confirmed that Matt Smith was paid more for his role as Prince Philip than Claire Foy received for starring as Queen Elizabeth II.
Now, Foy has discussed the pop culture controversy for the first time, saying: “It’s odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Foy said that she found it strange to be embroiled in a gender pay gap scandal, but understood why people were outraged by the news.
“I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd,’” she said.
Read more on this story here.
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Images: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Getty Images / Netflix