Women’s groups call for BBC to investigate institutional sexism

After giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in January 2012 on media sexism and hosting a follow-up seminar in March, Eaves (in collaboration with End Violence Against Women, Equality Now and Object), wrote to George Entwistle, Director General of the BBC, last week to call on the BBC to investigate institutional sexism in relation to the Jimmy Savile Inquiry.

The letter recommends that the inquiry consults with sexual violence experts in order to gain a deeper understanding into victims of violence and sexual abuse. It also calls on the BBC to recognise the links between institutionalised sexism and sexual abuse in the workplace, and to look not only at the allegations in the past but at the current culture in the BBC.

It is hoped that the letter will put pressure on Entwistle who is being questioned about the scandal by the same committee who investigated the phone hacking scandal.

Heather Harvey, Eaves Research and Development Manager says…

“Rape crisis and sexual abuse services have noticed an increase in calls since this matter became public. This just goes to show how hard it is for victims to seek help when there is a power imbalance in the relationship, whether that be sexual harassment in the workplace or the power of celebrity.

“The BBC is a great and important institution, we are pleased that they have opened an inquiry but we hope that they make the links between the abuse in the 70’s and the broader culture of institutionalised sexism”.

Read full letter to George Entwistle, Director General, of the BBC

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