January 15, 2020
Back in October, I joined with 72 other women MPs from all political parties to send an open letter to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The letter made it clear that as women in public life, we stood with her in calling out the persistent invasions of her privacy, the undue criticism and what we described as “colonial undertones”, which were used with increasing frequency in our national press.
Harry And Meghans Withdrawal Doesnt Need To Be This Complicated
Even then, it was clear that the press interest in her had long crossed the line of what was in the public interest, and we were moved to act when the documentary following Harry and Meghan’s visit to Africa, with their young son Archie, laid bare that the insatiable appetite of the press was inevitably taking its toll on the new parents. Related... Why Black People Think Racism Drove Meghan And Harry To Quit The Royal Family Where Meghan And Harry Should Move In Canada To Raise Baby Archie It's OK To Take A 'Step Back' From Your Family As An Adult Although our roles are very different to Meghan’s, as women in public life, we share in her sense of frustration that tearing women down has become all too easy. The language and tone used is becoming increasingly distasteful and often abusive. In the case of Meghan Markle, the fact that she is not British is often at the forefront of the narrative, and it’s been ugly.
The contrast between the headlines on stories relating to the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex are stark and obvious and there can only be a limited number of reasons why this is. 
The news this week that the royal couple are looking to do things differently, spending only part of their year in the UK and seeking to becoming financially independent from the royal coffers, can have come as a shock to absolutely no-one. The same old newspapers have of course printed their outrage, but I’m yet to meet a real person who is the mildest bit surprised, less bothered by it. Elements of the press have hounded Meghan beyond anything which resembles reasonable.Recent YouGov polls suggested that nearly half of Britons (46%) support the couple’s decision, compared to only 27% who oppose it. A survey conducted in August last year – two months before the letter from MPs and the Africa documentary – revealed that 44% of Britons said that the press’s treatment of Harry and Meghan is overly critical with only 23% believing it was fair. 
The writing was on the wall that they felt the situation was intolerable, and the British public could see it. The 72 women MPs could see it. What the press hadn’t expected was that Harry and Meghan would change the playing field. 
The various royal leaks and crisis-talks filling the front pages in recent days suggest that there has been a breakdown in communication within the royal family. I know nothing about what is going on and so had initially turned down any requests for comments on the grounds that I would only be engaging in speculation. 
Yet, once again, it seems that there is a frenzy around the couple playing out in the papers, which bears no resemblance to the reality of how the public feel about it, and it needs calling out. 
I don’t believe that in this day and age a woman who is successful in her own right, who marries the sixth-in-line to the throne, should be expected to stop working, become reliant on the taxpayer and cease overnight to have an opinion of her own. I’ve been pleased to see that the Queen agrees, effectively proposing a “transition agreement”.
Elements of the press have hounded Meghan beyond anything which resembles reasonable. They thought it was entirely within the rules to print what they liked about her and her family. I don’t think they imagined that the royal couple would resort to rewriting the rule book about what a Duchess can and cannot do, and it’s about time. 
I wish Meghan, Harry and Archie all the very best with the next phase of their lives. 
Holly Lynch is Labour MP for Halifax.Related... Prince Harry Is A 'Rebel Without A Crown' In New Street Art Mural Does Canada Have A Responsibility To Pay For Harry And Meghan? Meghan Markle's Father Could Testify Against Her In Mail On Sunday Legal Battle Stormzy And Naomi Campbell Voice Their Support For ‘Lovely’ Meghan Markle
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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