Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash
Girls & Women

British #MeToo Fund Gives £1 Million to 7 Groups Fighting Sexual Abuse

Why Global Citizens Should Care
More than half of all women have experienced sexual harassment at work — and #MeToo showed that such abuse is in fact a universal reality that seeps into every facet of every society. Now, the British arm of the movement has won generous financial support — and help is coming. Take action here to support women and girls all around the world.

It’s a movement that evolved from hyper-viral fury and red carpet pins to become a definitive cultural, if not political, consensus. 

When women (and some men) said #MeToo, it revealed a common thread of sexual harassment all across the world.

People got mad — and, despite headline-catching knockbacks, immense leaps forward followed: loads more British girls are calling themselves feminists now, France outlawed street harassment, Spain changed its law on consent to sex, and vital stories continue to spread all the way from India to the Ivory Coast.

And in the UK, #MeToo is literally paying progress forward.

Take Action: Tell the UK Government: Help Create a World Where #SheIsEqual

From #MeToo came #TimesUp: the call to arms that demanded an end to workplace abuse, inequality, and harassment. And together, it inspired the Justice and Equality Fund — backed by stars like Emma Watson and Keira Knightley — to bring an end to the culture of harassment and impunity by providing expert advice and support to advocacy organisations and projects.

It’s managed by Rosa, a UK women’s fund — and on Thursday, it gave over £1 million to seven different groups leading the charge.

In total, £1,027,699 has now been awarded to organisations in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England. 

That includes almost £200,000 to Rights Of Women to set up a free, confidential legal helpline with female lawyers; £88,000 to Welsh Women’s Aid to give training to women’s support services in Wales; and £130,000 to London Black Women's Project for specialist advice to black and minority ethnic and migrant women in the capital, according to the BBC.

Activist and actress Emma Watson personally donated £1 million to the fund in February, and said that this was “just the beginning.”

“Much more needs to be raised so please give what you can,” Watson added. “Financial support is an instrumental act of solidarity with under-resourced organisations and campaign groups."

The grants also included £200,000 for the Women's Aid Federation in Northern Ireland to reestablish a rape crisis centre there — the first in the country for over a decade.

"To be able to fund the first rape crisis service provision in Northern Ireland for 12 years feels like a huge step forward,” said supporter and actress Keira Knightley. "I hope we can continue to raise funds to support more of the front-line organisations doing such critical work with women and girls across the UK."

Read More: Emma Watson Just Donated £1 Million to Time's Up Fund in the UK

The Justice and Equality Fund was launched in an open letter on February 18, signed by nearly 200 British and Irish women from across the entertainment industries — including Carey Mulligan, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Sophie Okonedo, Keira Knightley, Olivia Colman, Saoirse Ronan, Emilia Clarke, and Jodie Whittaker.

"We're delighted that so many individuals and Time's Up have reached out in solidarity to make this happen,” said Samantha Rennie, executive director of Rosa. "But we need to do more — to get these services on a stable footing and tackle the culture that means abusers can act with impunity."

The fund has launched a programme called Now’s the Time, offering grants from a £100,000 pot to organisations focused on ending sexual assault. The deadline is December 14 — and you can submit your application here. If you want to support the fund, there’s a GoFundMe page available here.