Almost 60 female journalists stand behind Brazil’s newest movement to fight for women’s rights; #DeixaElaTrabalhar (translated to #LetHerWork) in a united call for respect and dignity on the field.
The campaign was initiated by three female sports reporters who have had enough of being sexually harassed on the field. In a viral video, the women cited incidents where interviewees groped, kissed, and spat at female newscasters while broadcasting live.
Additional harassment was experienced by journalists online via abusive messages and rape threats, BBC reports.
“I think this is a very special moment in Brazil. Something that could be similar to #MeToo. It’s not only about Brazil, it’s a very important problem globally. [Women] have to understand that they can work whenever they want,” Journalist Bibiana Bolson, who experienced first hand the difficulties women encounter in the field.
During the Euro Cup, Bolson was approached by a male spectator who yelled in her face, claiming a woman was unqualified to cover the soccer event and spitting in her face. Other men during the event and caught in the frame, attempted to kiss or touch the journalist. The footage has served as a visual evidence and underlined the campaign.
"A kiss on the mouth, without my permission, while I was doing my job ... Today I felt the sense of powerlessness that many women feel in stadiums, metros or even just walking along the street,” wrote Bruna Dealtry who is caught on camera recoiling from a shirtless male soccer fan.
"We just want to work in peace," said one journalist in the video which has received over 730,000 shares and 1.5 million views.
"In the last few years in Brazil, it has been great to see so many women working in sport, but now we need to ensure they are also able to move into positions of leadership," Bolson told BBC.
Supporters have adopted the hashtag and followed suit, calling for action on various social media platforms. WiSp Sports tweeted, “We support Brazilian female sports journalists and their campaign against sexual harassment. This is appalling disrespect and abuse towards women doing their job!”
"The woman's place is where she wants it to be — in the stadium, the office, the street, here or there. They just want their rights to be respected. Without harassment," Belo Horizonte Soccer Club Cruzeiro tweeted.