29 May 2018
The volume of sexist incidents on social media, and offensive nature of the content, continues to rise alarmingly.
Women in Football (WiF) have received a staggering 397.2 per cent overall increase in the number of reports of sex discrimination and harassment incidents presented in the preceding 12 month period. Social media, in particular, is pivotal to this.
A total of 271 incidents have been reported this season, with details logged from the three separate reporting avenues; Matchday, Workplace and Social media:
During the course of the 2017/18 season, Women in Football have received complaints from individuals across the football industry.
The volume of sexist incidents on social media, and offensive nature of the content, continues to rise. There has been a steep spike in the explicit and highly offensive language used. In 2016/17 there had been a 64.8 per cent increase from the previous year, and the past 12 months has seen nearly three (3) times as many incidents reported.
Lewd comments of a sexual nature, racist, gendered remarks and threats of violence have also been made to a number of high profile female journalists, broadcasters, players and referees.
Wherever possible anyone who has contacted WiF directly*, or any victim of online abuse, has been reached out to and received support via email, on the phone and in person.
WiF chair Anna Kessel said: “We regularly support women who face discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, providing pro bono legal advice thanks to Mishcon de Reya. We also work closely with Prospect Union and with the help of both, have successfully resolved numerous cases.
“The significant increase in the number of sexist reports received by Women in Football is of concern, but sadly, not a great surprise.
“What is clear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg; for every offensive tweet or comment posted and reported to us, there are dozens that aren’t. And we know from our 2016 research, that women who experience sexism at work rarely report it – just 1 in 10 according to our landmark industry survey."
“Football should be a safe, welcoming and positive environment for girls and women to work in, play in, watch games and be able to have an opinion about without being abused. We hope that governing bodies, employers and footballing role models will help us to spread this message."
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