Women Are Joining Together To Defeat Workplace Harassment

Witherspoon Rhimes among founders of anti-harassment group    
     Jan. 2 2018 6:15

"Time's Up" aims to get new laws to tackle the problem in workplaces.

2017 WAS A watershed year for Hollywood, as decades worth of sexual harassment and abuses of power came to light.

In November, a group of more than 700,000 female farmworkers sent the women of Hollywood a powerful letter of solidarity recognizing the plight of all women subject to sexual mistreatment in the workplace, but asking those in the spotlight to not overlook those who toil in the shadows of sprawling industries like food production, hospitality, restaurants, and elsewhere. We stand with you.

You can read the full letter here and donate to the legal defense fund here. The campaign with hashtag #timesup will also push for legislation to penalise companies that tolerate harassment and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims, according to the New York Times.

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Yet another goal is for major Hollywood studios and talent agencies to reach gender parity - "time's up on this impenetrable monopoly", the letter reads.

Speaking to the New York Times, Shona Rhimes said "It's very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven't cleaned our own house".

The group insisted that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation.

The campaign, which is backed by hundreds of actresses including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, has already raised more than $13 million (Sh1.3 billion) of its $15 million (Sh1.5 billion) target.

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More broadly, Time's Up says it will work to promote diversity in corporate management and help more women and men obtain legal help to hold wrongdoers accountable.

While the group announced itself to the world this week, meetings actually began back in October and have been taking place weekly ever since.

The campaign comes after a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein a year ago sparked the #MeToo campaign, with women and men using social media to talk about their experiences of harassment.

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