Women’s Euros 2022 legacy should be on football tackling misogyny and gender-based violence at all levels of the game, says a coalition of feminist campaigners and Violence Against Women and Girl’s (VAWG) experts.
The call comes on the same day as yet another Premier League player is arrested on suspicion of rape.
The 3 Hijabis, Level Up and the End Violence Against Women Coalition have been campaigning since the start of the year calling on the Premier League and the Football Association (FA) to urgently fund, develop, and implement a gender-based violence programme across football delivered by VAWG specialists.
Now the group are calling on the Premier League and the FA to show its commitment to tackle gender-based violence by announcing ring fenced funding and a timeline for action to coincide with the kick off of the Women’s Euros this week.
The group says this would be “a fitting legacy showing football is serious about tackling misogyny and gender-based violence across the game and wider society. Football has the power to force transformative change. It has a responsibility to act. We urge the Premier League and the Football Association to not waste this huge moment in history and instead to lead from the front. We need systemic change across football and society to tackle misogyny and gender-based violence. The Women’s Euros offers this opportunity.”
The groups’ petition demanding action has secured support from fans, the public, individuals involved in sports and MPs.
In February, the group wrote an open letter to the Premier League demanding they take action on gender-based violence in football.
Following this intervention, the Premier League invited the group to a “Listening Day” at the Premier League Head Quarters on 27 June 2023 to discuss a gender-based violence policy.
As outlined in the open letter, The 3 Hijabis, Level Up and End Violence Against Women coalition demanded implementation of the following:
- Mandatory gender-based violence training for all players, managers, coaches and owners at clubs and academies
- Clear sexual misconduct policies and protocols with the power to impose appropriate consequences and disciplinary action on players
- The introduction of a Tackling Gender-Based Violence Charter signed by all clubs
- Academies to introduce prevention programmes for young people that take a “Whole Club Approach”
In a statement online, the group said: “The listening day was encouraging, but one day will not transform the deeply entrenched power, violence and impunity within football. We know this work will take time.”
“We hope the Listening Day is the beginning of a deep, authentic and transformative process which culminates in the implementation of the above policies.”
“This is also a valuable opportunity for The FA, who are still yet to engage with our coalition, to follow the Premier League’s lead and begin its own internal work to tackle gender-based violence in football.”
“We know fans of football want to see a change, so it’s vital that both organisations use this chance to lead in transforming the harmful culture that, without conscious disruption, they will maintain.”
“What better legacy for the 2022 Women’s Euros than a meaningful public commitment to ending gender-based violence from both the Premier League and The FA.”