Women in Games has welcomed a campaign by mobile network EE to call on the Government to honour its promise ‘to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online’. The initiative is lobbying the House of Lords to namecheck women and girls in the Online Saftety Bill – and we urge our community to get behind it.

The EE Hope United campaign aims to raise awareness for the need for women and girls to be namechecked by sharing a series of statistics which highlight gender inequalities in online safety:

262 pages. Zero mention of women and girls. The Online Safety Bill must change.

Women of colour are 34% more likely to be mentioned in abusive tweets than white women*.

65% of women who report abuse to internet companies don’t feel heard

These evocative posts act as a call to action for members of the public to ‘tweet the House of Lords’ and make their voices heard as the Bill is being discussed in Parliament.

This campaign is the latest step in EE Hope United’s continued work tackling online hate in all its forms; following last Summer’s EE Hope United campaign to combat online sexist abuse during the UEFA Women’s European Championships, EE secured the signatures of over 60 UK sports men and women, presenters and journalists on its open letter to policy makers lobbying for a more stringent Online Safety Bill.

The letter, co-signed by Glitch – the UK charity focused on ending online abuse and championing digital citizenship – challenged the Government to pass the Bill in its entirety and called for naming violence against women and girls as a priority harm in the Bill. EE Hope United squad members Gareth Southgate, Lucy Bronze and Demi Stokes were among the signatories, as well as Marcus Rashford, Rio Ferdinand and Fara Williams.

Helen Burrows, Policy and Public Affairs Director at EE, said: “We know that women and girls receive disproportionate levels of online abuse, as highlighted during the UEFA Women’s European Championships last year. It is clear that there is still work to be done; this is why EE Hope United has partnered with Glitch to call on the government to make changes to the Bill so that the experiences of women and girls online can be acknowledged in this important piece of legislation”.

 Hilary Watson, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Glitch, added: “Online hate is never acceptable and we know that this is a gendered issue that particularly affects Black women and girls. We need the Online Safety Bill to make the UK online space safer for us all by responding directly to these issues. That’s why Glitch is working with EE Hope United to shine a light on these lived experiences so the Bill can be updated to deliver a better online future for everyone”.

 Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman offered:We know from our work with Bryter that women and girls are facing more toxicity and harassment when playing games online than ever before. In the wider online space, women and girls are continuing to suffer dreadful levels of abuse. So it’s incomprehensible that the Online Safety Bill doesn’t even mention women and girls!

 “I urge all Women in Games Ambassadors, allies and collaborators in the UK to lobby their MPs and share this campaign on their social channels to avoid the current Bill being passed through the House of Lords.”

You can find out more about the campaign here – https://www.eehopeunited.co.uk/#%23online-safety-bill

And if you can click on the ‘Make It Safer’ button, you can generate a Tweet to lobby the House of Lords.


Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash