Female journalists at the World Cup call for an end to harassment

World Today

A global photo agency is apologizing for a photo montage it posted of women. The feature was created by Getty Images, and titled: ‘World Cup 2018 – the sexiest fans.’

The photo array has since been deleted, but the controversy comes as some female journalists, trying to cover the World Cup, are facing sexual harassment. CGTN’s Jessica King has details.

A reporter trying to give a flavor of the World Cup was suddenly subjected to its ugly side. Colombian correspondent Julieth Gonzalez Theran was groped and kissed against her will by a man who took advantage of the fact she was live on air. She later posted on social media, “We do not deserve this treatment. We are equally valuable and professional.”

She’s not the only one who’s face problems. A Brazilian sports journalist was reporting live from Yekaterinburg, when she was forced to dodge a kiss from a passerby. Julia Guimareas shouted that his actions were unacceptable, prompting him to apologize.

Other female reporters have also spoken up about harassment from football fans. These incidents have been condemned by authorities in Russia and abroad, but it’s raising questions about sexism in sport, particularly at a time when women are increasingly making their mark in the industry as reporters and match commentators. 

The Diversity House in Moscow has been set up to combat discrimination. Mariana Linhan says there are still not enough women in all levels of the game. Fans outside said the message of the World Cup is inclusiveness. 

There are more female faces at this World Cup than ever before. Many hope it will make women feel more welcome at what some call, “The Greatest Show On Earth”. Authorities say sexual harassment has no place in the game and that, once the cameras are off, it is those who carry out such attacks who will be the ones forced into the spotlight.

Jimmy Lynn on the harassment of female journalists at the World Cup

Are we more aware of female reporters being harassed at World Cup, thanks to the #MeToo movement? To answer that, CGTN’s Elaine Reye spoke with Jimmy Lynn from Georgetown University, senior advisor and adjunct faculty at the university’s McDonough School of Business.