In tonight’s Women’s Daily Dispatch, we’re celebrating the fact that record crowds are set to watch the women’s FA Cup final this weekend.
Plus: more women come forward with allegations against R Kelly, and the Nobel Prize in Literature is formally postponed after a sexual misconduct scandal.
The women’s FA Cup final will be shown on TV for the first time this weekend
In a sign that women’s football is on its way to being treated with the same respect as the men’s game, BBC1 is set to provide live coverage of the women’s FA Cup final for the first time this Saturday.
Record crowds are expected to turn out to Wembley Stadium to watch the match between Arsenal and Chelsea, with well over 40,000 tickets already sold.
The interest in tomorrow’s game highlights how the status of women’s football has risen in recent years. Just five years ago, the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Bristol Academy’s women’s team was watched by less than 5,000 fans, and was not shown on TV.
Emma Hayes, the well-regarded manager of Chelsea Ladies, is eight months pregnant, and so will watch the game from the technical area by the side of the pitch rather than leading her team out.
“It’s better for my babies if I sit down,” she said. “I don’t mind, I’m a woman, I don’t have a big ego!”
Read more on this story at The Guardian.
More women speak out about R Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse
Days after the Time’s Up movement’s Women of Color committee released a statement condemning R Kelly, two more women have come forward with stories about the musician’s alleged sexually abusive behaviour.
The first woman, Lizzette Martinez, said she was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship with Robert “R” Kelly for four years in the late Nineties. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, she said she met Kelly in a mall in Miami in 1995, when she was a 17-year-old high school student and he was 28.
According to Martinez, Kelly knew she was underage when she lost her virginity to him (the age of consent in Florida is 18). He hit her five times over the course of their relationship, she said, and pressured her to engage in sexual acts against her will.
The second woman is known only as Michelle, to protect her daughter’s privacy. She said her daughter, now 27 years old and known as “N”, began a relationship with Kelly when she was 17 and he was 41. Kelly has “brainwashed” N over the course of their decade-long relationship, Michelle said, and made her a member of his alleged “cult”.
“I don’t know what hold he has on her, but her last words to me was, ‘Don’t ever give up on me,’” Michelle said.
Read more on this story here.
Nobel Prize in Literature postponed after sexual misconduct scandal
In yesterday’s Women’s Daily Dispatch, we brought you the news that this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature was on the brink of being cancelled after a sexual misconduct scandal engulfed the organisation that gives out the award.
Now, the Swedish Academy has confirmed that the prize has been postponed until 2019. The announcement was made on Friday, following a meeting of its remaining members on Thursday evening. Several former members of the academy resigned after allegations of sexual harassment and assault were made against Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of a member of the organisation.
“We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced,” said Anders Olsson, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. He added that they were acting “out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public.”
French photographer Arnault is married to the Swedish writer Katarina Frostenson, who was a member of the academy until she stepped down in the wake of the allegations against him. After he was accused of sexual misconduct by 18 women, it emerged that the cultural club he ran with Frostenson had received funding from the Swedish Academy.
CNN has more on this story here.
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