United Nations Supports Jenni Hermoso and Calls for an End to Sexual Harassment in Women’s Football

In a show of solidarity, the United Nations Human Rights office has voiced its support for Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso after she was kissed on the lips by Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation. The UN body emphasized the importance of calling out and challenging sexual harassment and abuse, stating that women in sport continue to face such mistreatment. This incident has sparked a debate and led to calls for action to end abuse and sexism in sports.

Hermoso, a prominent figure in Spanish women’s football, expressed her discontent with the non-consensual kiss that took place following Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final. Rubiales vehemently denies any wrongdoing and has refused to step down as the president of the federation, even after being provisionally suspended by Fifa for 90 days from all football-related activities. This controversial stance has attracted criticism from various quarters.

The United Nations Human Rights office, using its official Twitter account, expressed solidarity with Hermoso and urged everyone to support the fight against abuse and sexism in sports. Their message, accompanied by the hashtag #SeAcabo, which means ‘It’s over’ in English, received extensive support from Hermoso’s followers and supporters of the cause.

Spanish prosecutors have initiated a preliminary investigation to determine if the incident qualifies as a sexual assault crime. Simultaneously, Spain’s acting minister for sport, Miquel Iceta, defended the government’s handling of the Rubiales case, maintaining that they are diligently working to address the issue. The Spanish government, through its national sports council, submitted a petition to provisionally suspend Rubiales for two serious alleged offenses. The matter is currently under review by the Sports Tribunal, with a decision pending.

Iceta emphasized that the government is committed to resolving the matter promptly but in a rigorous manner, ensuring all legal guarantees are met to prevent any appeals that may revoke the decisions made. While the government acknowledges the urgency of the situation, it is limited in its actions until the court admits their complaint for processing. Once the complaint is accepted, a meeting of the national sports council will be convened within 48 hours to propose Rubiales’ suspension until a final resolution is reached.

In response to the controversy, regional leaders from the Spanish Football Federation held an extraordinary general meeting with interim president Pedro Rocha. During the meeting, they called for a restructuring of the organization. However, the local football association bosses are divided on the issue, with some opposing the removal of Rubiales from his position. As a result, they released a statement requesting his resignation, to which Rubiales has thus far remained resistant.

This incident has not only highlighted the need to address sexual harassment and abuse in women’s football but has also brought the issue into the public eye, stimulating discussions on gender inequality and mistreatment in sports. It serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all athletes, regardless of gender.

The United Nations support for Jenni Hermoso and the call for an end to abuse and sexism in sports carries significant weight. It helps raise awareness about the issue, encourages other athletes to speak out against mistreatment, and urges organizations and governing bodies to take appropriate action. Such incidents should serve as a turning point, leading to stricter policies, better education, and greater awareness to eradicate sexual harassment and create a more respectful and equal sports community.

As the investigation into this case unfolds, it is crucial that due process is followed and that the rights of both Jenni Hermoso and Luis Rubiales are respected. It is essential to avoid jumping to conclusions or making assumptions before all the facts are presented. This will ensure fairness and justice for all parties involved.

Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge the broader systemic issues that contribute to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse in sports. This incident should prompt a deeper examination of the structures and cultures within sports organizations that perpetuate and tolerate such behaviors. Efforts should be made to implement comprehensive measures, including stricter policies, thorough education programs, and support systems for victims, to prevent these incidents from occurring in the future.

In conclusion, the support shown by the United Nations Human Rights office for Jenni Hermoso and the condemnation of sexual harassment and abuse in women’s football highlights the urgent need for change. This incident should serve as a catalyst for addressing deeper systemic issues within sports organizations and promoting a culture of respect and equality in sports. The investigation into the incident should be conducted impartially and with the utmost fairness, ensuring justice is served for all parties involved. Ultimately, the goal should be to create a safe and inclusive environment where athletes can thrive without fear of harassment or abuse.