The ongoing Football World Cup in Russia has witnessed several incidents of sexual harassment faced by female sports journalists while they were on the field, reporting. These women journalists were kissed, insulted, groped and pushed around, while being live on camera.
Bravo Brazil's #WomenInSport journalists who've launched #LetHerWork (#DeixaElaTrabalhari in Portuguese) campaign to curb sexism & harassment from male colleagues officials athletes & sports fans. We are stronger united https://t.co/uugqN78kgb pic.twitter.com/2gEJ5vMc3S
— WomenSportAustralia (@auswomensport) July 10, 2018
People have been quick to point out its similarities with the #MeToo movement. It is being seen as a part of the efforts women are slowly taking, worldwide to speak up against the harassment.
How did it all start?
Few female journalists started a Whatsapp group to talk about their stories. They soon realised that it is time they should talk about it publicly. In March, earlier this year journalists posted videos online with a hashtag #DeixaElaTrabalhar, which is Portuguese for LetHerWork reported The Hindu.
The video was more like a call for action. They also started to work with the police and prosecutors. Journalists wanted to make sure that Brazil’s laws against public insult and defamation were being properly enforced in stadiums.
Gabriela Moreira, working with the ESPN said, authorities and fans react against racial remarks, but do little when a woman is being insulted. Often fans shout ‘prostitute’ at the female journalists and nobody does anything. Moreira was also a part of the video which is making the rounds on social media.
Incidents during World Cup, 2018
At least four incidents of fans behaving inappropriately with journalists have been recorded till now during the ongoing football tournament in Russia.
In one, a man spoke something insulting to journalist Ahtziri Cardenas while she was filming and soon returned back to grab her genitals.
In another incident, a man tried to kiss Brazilian journalist Julia Guimaraes, while she was about to go live for SporTV. However, she stood firm and told him,“This is not polite. This is not right. Never do this. Never do this to a woman, OK?”
He later apologised to her off camera.
Aline Nastari, working with Brazilian channel Esporte Interativo said, “From the moment you make it public and you feel that you’re in it together, that there are a lot of people experiencing the same thing, you feel supported to fight for something.”
“DeixaElaTrabalhar symbolizes this. It’s that moment when we’re all together, we’re all united,” she added.
Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv