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Sadiq Khan launches new campaign to tackle misogyny and sexism

"If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates"

By Hollie Geraghty

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan (Picture: Alamy)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new campaign to tackle misogyny and sexism.

In a renewed effort to challenge sexist attitudes and harassment against women, the campaign calls on men to speak out against inappropriate behaviour when they see it happening.

As part of the launch, Khan has reemphasised his calls for misogyny to be made a hate crime, also adding that boys should be taught about it in primary schools.

A number of football clubs are supporting the campaign, with posters being displayed in the toilets at Crystal Palace. The campaign video is also set to be premiered during the club’s match with Manchester City today (March 14).

Speaking with Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira at Selhurst Park stadium, Khan said: “The reality is what can often begin as inappropriate attitudes and inappropriate behaviour can lead towards violence against women and girls.

“It’s heartbreaking that over the last 12 months across our country 127 women have lost their lives at the hands of men.

“And this campaign is about making sure we, as men, aren’t bystanders when you know some of our mates may be acting inappropriately.”

In the campaign video, a group of men can be seen harassing a girl waiting for a taxi. One man’s internal dialogue encourages him to speak up. “What are you doing? That’s enough,” he tells his friend, followed by the voiceover: “Male violence against women and girls can start with words. But it doesn’t stop there. If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates”.

Khan also reflected on the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard in March last year.

“The awful abduction and murder of Sarah Everard brought to the fore what many women and girls experience on a daily basis, which is sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, violence,” he said.

“Many women across our country, including in London, don’t go out at certain times of the day because they’re worried for their safety, they wear different footwear because they need to run quickly if they’re being chased, and there are certain parts of our city they don’t go to.

“That can’t be right in the most progressive, greatest city in the world.

He continued: “And the reality is often inappropriate attitudes can lead to inappropriate behaviour that can lead to violence. That’s why it’s so important to take action.”