TIME’S UP UK
Ending Sexual Harassment in the United Kingdom
Following the launch of TIME’S UP in the United States, it quickly became evident that the same issues needed to be tackled head-on in the United Kingdom.
TIME’S UP UK was born. Like TIME’S UP, the organization launched with an open letter, published in the Guardian, prior to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards in February 2018.
“Here in the U.K., this movement is at a critical juncture. The gender pay gap for women in their twenties is now five times greater than it was six years ago. Research [shows] more than half of all women said they have experienced sexual harassment at work…There is no question that TIME’S UP should be and will be a global movement. A movement that is defined and led by those affected by the problem, not by those in power.”
Founding and supporting members of the movement wore black to the BAFTAs and invited activists as their dates, joining the red carpet “black-out” seen at the Golden Globes one month prior.
TIME’S UP UK then launched the Justice and Equality Fund (JEF), aimed at developing and distributing grant funding for women’s projects. To date, JEF has raised over £2.7 million pounds (out of a £3 million target) from 490 donors, and disbursed over 40 grants. It was kickstarted by a £1 million donation from Emma Watson, one of TIME’S UP UK’s founders. Funding for the TIME’S UP UK Justice and Equality Fund also comes via donations from Comic Relief and a GoFundMe campaign.
TIME’S UP UK works with over 40 entertainment bodies, including BAFTA, the British Film Institute (BFI), and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECHTU) to set principles that address sexual harassment across the film, television, theater, and video game industries. They also collaborated with TIME’S UP Entertainment to encourage key film festivals, such as Cannes, Venice, and Toronto, to sign the 50/50 by 2020 pledge: the pledge calls for festivals to strive for gender parity in top management and to publish figures on the gender of the directors of films submitted every year.
Most recently, TIME’S UP UK and the Justice and Equality Fund teamed up with the nonprofit, Rights of Women, to launch a free legal advice hotline for women experiencing workplace harassment in England and Wales.
“Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment, is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone,” said TIME’S UP UK co-founder Emma Watson. “This advice line is a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work.”