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Episode 21 – Tipping the power balance with Alix Vuillemin and Dieneke de Vos

On March 8 we did something we’ve never done before – we recorded the podcast in front of a live audience.

Together with Alix Vuillemin – senior advocacy adviser at Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, and Dieneke de Vos –  Integrity lead at Oxfam Novib, we asked why sexual harassment – a symptom of gender inequality and of power imbalances – is still an issue in our international institutions.

Since the #MeToo movement, and the #TimesUp campaign, what’s changed? How well are the bodies which embody justice like the International Criminal Court doing at combatting the conditions that let sexual harassment happen?

Sadly Stephanie was at the start of the MH17 trial (listen here for background), so it’s just Janet.

At the end we had fun asking our panellists and our live audience for their recommendations of recent books or video.

Based on the podcast theme, Dieneke suggested She Said by journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times. And The Morning Show – an Apple TV show on Hollywood, television and sexual harassment that made Dieneke really mad with one of the characters.

Alix suggested The Power as a ‘must read’ that explores the dynamics of gender inequality. Jill who runs The Hague Humanity Hub – our hosts – suggests Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls which portrays the female voice in the Trojan Wars – a period usually dominated by the likes of Achilles and Agamemnon.

Other audience members put forward the ‘unbelievable show’ Unbelievable on Netflix showing what the difference between coming forward as a sexual assault victim to someone doesn’t believe you or to someone who practises a survivor centred approach. Also the Mukwege Foundation premiered this month a film, Sema – Swahili for speak out – a movie written and performed by survivors sexual conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And finally, Sex Education – a series on Netflix – which includes a young character suffering sex harassment which reminds us it can happen on many levels and in many environments.