According to a new Adidas study, 92% of women fear for their safety when running
Today, sportswear giant Adidas has launched a brand new campaign – ‘The Ridiculous Run’ – to help raise awareness about the safety concerns faced by the vast majority of women when running.
According to a recent survey conducted by Adidas – in which 9,000 runners from nine different countries were interviewed* – 92% of women reported feeling concerned for their safety, with half (51%) afraid of being physically attacked, compared to 28% of men.
Additionally, the survey revealed that 38% of women have experienced physical or verbal harassment while running, and over half of these women have received unwanted attention, sexist comments or unwanted sexual attention, been honked at or followed. The majority of women (69%) also reported taking specific safety precautions, from tying their hair up in a bun and carrying keys in between their fingers to running with a person who can protect them.
In light of these findings, Adidas has launched ‘The Ridiculous Run’ to call for both greater awareness and to encourage male education and allyship.
The film (above) explores how ‘ridiculous’ a run must be in order for women to feel truly safe, including: needing to run with others; wearing loose clothing; only using one headphone; or running with an escort or protective crew on a bike or in a car.
While 62% of men recognise the issue, only 18% believe the responsibility lies mostly with men to help women feel safer when running. So the film aims to challenge – and change – attitudes around women’s safety while running.
Created in partnership with the charity White Ribbon – which aims to help prevent violence against women and girls by educating men and boys – the two companies have also created an ‘allyship playbook’, to help educate men on the issue of women’s safety and provide tools to help address harassment and safety in running for women.
Over 250 coaches and captains from the Adidas Runners international community have already received training alongside the toolkit and become designated ambassadors in the mission to create a safer environment for women who run.
‘We want all men to take action using the tools we have provided, wherever they are in the world to make a real difference to violence against women,’ said Humberto Carolo, executive director of White Ribbon, Canada. Running is for everyone, therefore we’re committed to make sure everyone feels safer when pursuing a sport they enjoy.’
Sina Neubrandt, Adidas women’s global communications director, added: ‘Addressing this issue is a marathon, not a sprint, and our campaign will not solve this overnight. But if we can encourage more men to understand their role as allies, we can create progress and, hopefully, change.’
*The survey was made up of 4,500 runners who identify as women and 4,500 runners who identify as men across Japan, China, US, UK, Mexico, UAE, France, Germany and South Korea, aged between 16-34.
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