Reducing systemic sexual assault requires a rebalancing of the whole concept of power between men and women, women’s rights advocate and lawyer Charlotte Proudman told WikiTribune.

“Until we change male dominance, I don’t think we’re going to see a real transformation in the way in which women are treated in the workplace. It [the focus on harassment is] a good step forward, but I don’t think it’s enough.”

Proudman was herself at the center of a workplace misconduct case in 2015, when a senior partner at a law firm commented on her appearance in her LinkedIn profile photo. According to a Guardian report at the time, Proudman said that the comment on her appearance sought to eroticize her, which was an act of men “exercising power over women.”

Charlotte Proudman said non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should be restricted in order to protect people from harassment. Also known as confidentiality agreements, an NDA is a legal contract that sees victims in sexual harassment cases receive a sum of money in exchange for silence about information regarding the abuse. Commonly used between employers and employees, NDAs require both parties who sign the agreement to keep information private.

It’s particularly an issue in the U.S., according to Proudman.

“Effectively, the law is sanctioning the silencing of women because of the wealth and power that men have in contrast to those individuals bringing such claims.”

  • 26 February 2016 – Charlotte was interviewed by Varsity about feminism, lad culture and sexism in the workplace.
  • 8 February 2016 – Charlotte was featured in an article published by Cambridge News promoting the forthcoming Women of the World Festival Cambridge in March, which Charlotte will be speaking at.

She’s a staggeringly accomplished woman; a barrister in family law, an expert in female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour-based violence, and a doctoral researcher here at Cambridge researching FGM in England and Wales. We asked her if feminism is still important here in the UK where we have relative equality compared with women in other countries, and she said, “Patriarchy is universal and cross-cultural; it’s not something to one society and not others… I think it’s important to have feminism wherever you have gender inequality.”

  • 21 January 2015 – Coverage by Left Foot Forward of a debate on quotas for women at the Fawcett Society. Charlotte argued for the introduction of quotas amongst the judiciary.
  • 4 January 2015 – Interview with Chambers Diversity, “Thoughts for 2016: Charlotte Proudman.”
  • 29 December 2015 – Interview with the Guardian. Stories of 2015, sexism and social media.
  • 2 December 2015 – Interview with Chambers Student about women at the Bar and the introduction of quotas.
  • 2 December 2015 – Charlotte gave a comment to Legal Cheek about a solicitor diversity programme:

“While the scheme is a welcomed step to achieving gender parity, it is important to point out that such schemes should not focus on teaching women to lean in or behave more like men. Gender inequality is not a reflection of women’s inadequacy, it is a reflection of male power… Only quotas for women will ensure absolutely equality. If you believe in gender equality then there can be no justification for supporting anything less.”

  • 14 September 2015 – Interview with the Huffington Post on silencing women who challenge sexism.
  • 10 September 2015 – Interview with the London Evening Standard on sexism in the legal profession (published in print).
  • 8 September 2015 – Interview about challenging sexism with the Guardian.