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150 French sports journalists in revolt against sexism

As France prepares to host the most equal Olympic Games ever in 2024 (for the first time, as many women as men will be able to compete), the country’s journalist corps is shaken by a major protest against sexism in the industry.

It all started with the documentary “I’m not a slut, I’m a journalist” where several female sports journalists testify about discrimination in the profession.

The same day that the documentary was broadcast, an uprising was sent out in which 150 female sports journalists demanded change. The open letter reads “It is time for us female sports journalists to join forces and put pressure on the industry”. This has been followed by several posts on social media from women who testify about different types of discrimination.

Three people were fired

One of those who tells about their experiences in the documentary is rugby expert Clementine Sarlat. She left one of France’s biggest sports programs after being hit by sexism and harassment when she returned to her job after maternity leave.

Her testimony later led to the dismissal of three people from their jobs.

– I thought: if they do this to me who can be seen on TV, what about the women who do not get the same exposure as me, Sarlat says according to AP.

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Criticism is also directed at, among other things, the large wage differences and the large dominance of men in the profession, both in the security and among journalists. Only 13 percent of women were seen and heard in the sports coverage in France last year. And despite the fact that half of the French journalists are women, only 10 percent of them are in sports journalism, according to the news agency AP.

The Minister is not surprised

Now France’s sports minister, former Olympic swimmer Roxana Maracineanu has also responded to the protests and she is not surprised.

– I am even less surprised that this is happening in the sports world. It is a very male-dominated world that has also been so throughout the ages, she says according to AP.

Maracineanu now says she wants to see a change.

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– Regardless of whether you are a female journalist, a female minister or a female leader, we must, if we want to see a change, start working for it today. With determination, ambition, conviction for it can affect people’s way of thinking, says the minister.

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