The Welsh Government and The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have launched a joint educational programme which will look to tackle online abuse of women and girls.
The FAW and Government said education is required “on the negative impact online hate speech and misogyny can have on women and girls, not only in football, but across society.” Welsh international Jess Fishlock said “It was heart-breaking last year seeing the misogynistic abuse aimed at footballers from the league who were playing purely for their love of the game. Trying to put someone down because of something they love, is not big, smart or funny. I always say that people should think about how the person receiving the abuse could be affected before sharing and I'm glad to have worked with my Cymru team-mates and the FAW to further educate others on what is and isn't acceptable online.”
A joint statement read “resources developed by online safety experts are created to support practitioners to deliver lessons on this issue and help learners understand the importance of mutual respect between boys and girls, what online hate speech looks like, the term 'toxic masculinity' and what role it plays in driving online misogyny. Both the FAW and Welsh Government understand that education is key to tackling the many forms of online hate and the two organisations felt it was important to collaborate following the online abuse aimed at female footballers witnessed across social media during the 20-21 season.”
Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles said “Abuse, hate and harassment of women, whether it takes place online or offline, must not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to tackle it. A key part of dealing with online misogyny is to make sure that there are resources to support these important conversations to take place. It is vital to provide learners with opportunities to learn about their rights and the rights of others, as well as the impact of such abuse and the harm it causes. Importantly, the resources raise awareness of how to safely challenge online abuse, so that we can all play a part in making the internet a safer place. I'm very pleased we're able to work alongside FAW to not just highlight online hate against women, but to tackle it.”