Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil's female sports reporters call time on sexual harassment

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Media captionSports journalist Bibiana Bolson: 'They try to kiss us and to hug and to touch us'

Female Brazilian sports reporters have banded together to speak out about the sexual harassment they suffer in the course of their work.

A campaign video includes footage of some women being kissed and groped during on-air broadcasts.

"Let her work" (#DeixaElaTrabalhar) is the campaign slogan, which has been shared widely on social media.

The group of 52 reporters say they have been sent abusive messages and even rape threats online.

The video shows female reporters flinching as men force themselves on to them as they try to present news stories. One man grabs a woman's face and pulls it towards him for a kiss after she asks him a question.

These clips are interspersed with shots of the defiant campaigners, staring at the camera, folding their arms and calling time on the behaviour.

"We just want to work in peace," says one. "We need respect," says another.

The video was aired during a football match at Rio de Janeiro's 79,000-capacity Maracana stadium on Sunday, when the campaign launched.

Bibiana Bolson, from the EspnW sports network, told the BBC the outpouring of support has already been huge, with thousands sharing the hashtag and video on social media.

Football players Zico and Gilberto Silva, and Basketball Hall of Fame star Hortencia Marcari are among those to have shared support for the movement.

Various football clubs have also backed it, along with the Brazilian Judo Confederation (CBJ) and the National Basketball League (LNB), according to the Globo news network.

On the day the campaign was launched, a man was arrested at a stadium in the southern city of Porto Alegre after allegedly harassing Kelly Costa, a reporter from RBS TV, with sexist language while she worked.

Television commentators were heard discussing the incident during the match and condemning the man's behaviour in reference to the new campaign.

Image copyright Vicky Baker
Image caption The hashtag "Let her work"has gone viral in Brazil

Ms Bolson said aside from sexual harassment, female reporters have to deal with other forms of sexism, such as having their career trajectory questioned or having interviewees prioritise speaking to male colleagues.

Journalist Mayra Siquiera tweeted some of the comments women working in the world of sport hear, such as "How does she know all this? It's obvious she's sleeping with someone on the inside" and "She just wants attention".

Ms Bolson added: "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."

The next steps, after raising awareness, would be to look at measures for dealing with the harassment, she said, and changing the culture at workplaces as well as at sports venues.

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