A recent study carried out by Women’s Running found that 69% of women do not feel safe when they’re running, and adjust their behaviours in order to help them to feel safer.1
79% of women have been shouted at whilst on a run and 31% have even considered stopping running altogether due to feeling unsafe.1
Statistics like these, as well as countless lived experiences, have urged a collective of women to rise up and start a conversation about the sexual harassment of women runners. The #WeWill campaign aims to effect positive societal change, rather than women having to alter their behaviours to try and feel safer on the road.
The founder of This Mum Runs, Mel Bound, who also spearheaded this campaign, spoke to The Telegraph this week to describe how she had been “inundated with messages from women all week describing their ingrained behaviours”. Everything from keeping a tight grip on a set of keys, to making “phone calls” to non-existent partners. All to avoid being catcalled, harassed, made fun of, physically or sexually assaulted on their run.
This kind of sexual harassment women experience whilst running is clearly so widespread, that we think #WeWill needs to match its virality. That’s why we want to make our pledge.
How can we effect change?
The #WeWill campaign aims to tackle these challenges, that a lot of men aren’t even aware of, along with a lot of women who don’t even realise they’re altering their behaviours.
So, the first step to effecting change is opening up conversation, and listening to the experiences so many women have had.
Many men have taken this opportunity to look at their own behaviours, whilst others have pledged to call out sexist language, and the objectification of women wherever they encounter it, even when that means difficult conversations with friends.
The campaign has also encouraged many to pledge to educate their children on “the importance of consent and respect”2 of women, in all capacities not just in relation to exercise.
At Myprotein, we pledge to use our voice to spread #WeWill as far and wide as we can, because every woman should have the freedom to exercise safely.
Make your pledge
If you want to show your support for the campaign, get involved by posting on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and simply spread awareness to your following. Make your own personal pledge, or repost some of the informative content on the #WeWill Instagram page.
Take Home Message
#WeWill isn’t a reflection of the past week of protests and discussions around women’s safety, as Women’s Running makes clear, and it’s not about dividing men and women.1 The goal is long term, sustainable change and we can happily back that message.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the mental, and physical benefits of running, and nothing should get in the way of that. So join the conversation, and help empower women to enjoy their runs again.
And if you’re looking for a safe, women-only space to discuss and get support for your fitness goals, it’s worth checking in on our Women’s-Only Facebook group, Myprotein Women, join here.
She left behind a career as a pharmacist to climb mountains. Literally.