Hollywood women announce initiative to fight sexual harassment in all workplaces

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Hollywood women announce initiative to fight sexual harassment in all workplaces

With an explicit thank you to those women for their call and support, the organizers from the entertainment industry behind the "Time's Up" effort say it's imperative to elevate the struggles of all working women.

Time's Up members include actresses Cate Blanchett, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and Meryl Streep, Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley, feminist writer Gloria Steinem, lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel.

A legal defense fund, backed by $13 million in donations, to help less privileged women-like janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels-protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.

It quickly became apparent that sexual harassment wasn't just a Hollywood problem - and, what's more, that victims without A-list celebrity clout had even less recourse for dealing with the issue.

In the letter, Time's Up stresses that they stand in solidarity with victims in other industries, and references a letter of support sent to the women of Hollywood by Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworker Women's Alliance).

The initiative will help women who have been sexually harassed get access to legal aid, with the group having already raised $13US million at the time of publication, with hopes of reaching its $15 million goal.

The initiative's goals also include promoting legislation to penalise companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to fight against the use of non-disclosure agreements to shield sexual abusers.

"For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our handsome faces and our glamour", she said. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about".

Reese Witherspoon said the group offered an opportunity for women to join forces in an industry that has typically been run by men.

Time's Up was officially unveiled Monday in a story by The New York Times, though the group was formed not long after the first round of allegations against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein came to light in October.

"We're finally hearing each other, and seeing each other, and now locking arms in solidarity with each other, and in solidarity for every woman who doesn't feel seen, to be finally heard", Witherspoon said.

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