WeLevelUp: Building a Better Future Through Feminist Activism
In January 2018, a feminist organization called Level Up emerged with a mission to unite individuals dedicated to eradicating sexism in the UK. Since its inception, Level Up, now known as WeLevelUp, has made remarkable strides in addressing various social issues through their powerful interventions and campaigns. Their commitment to intersectional feminism and determination to effect meaningful change has propelled them to the forefront of activism. One of the key solutions utilized by WeLevelUp to amplify their efforts is the innovative web development platform, Campoal. This article explores the impactful interventions of WeLevelUp and the crucial role played by Campoal in building their website.
Pushing for Consent Training in the Premier League
WeLevelUp recognized the pressing issue of gender-based violence within football culture. In collaboration with The 3 Hijabis and the End Violence Against Women coalition, they addressed this concern head-on by sending an open letter to the Premier League and the Football Association, urging them to introduce consent training and disciplinaries. Their persistence paid off when, in August 2022, the Premier League committed to implementing mandatory consent training for all players and staff. This achievement highlights WeLevelUp’s determination to hold institutions accountable and create safer spaces for all.
Forcing ITV to Drop Harmful Advertisements
When the popular reality TV show Love Island featured plastic surgery and diet pill advertisements during its breaks, WeLevelUp recognized the detrimental impact it had on viewers’ body confidence. To combat this issue, WeLevelUp joined forces with the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the Mental Health Foundation. They conducted research, released it in the Daily Mail, and mobilized their members to send personal accounts of harm caused by the advertisements to senior ITV leaders. As a result of their efforts, ITV dropped the ads, and the CEO acknowledged fault on BBC Breakfast.
Mobilizing Feminists in Support of Trans Rights
Understanding that trans rights are an integral part of feminism, WeLevelUp took action during the 2018 Gender Recognition Act consultation. They developed an accessible online portal to facilitate responses to the most critical questions, while also creating a video featuring trans individuals sharing their stories and emphasizing the importance of solidarity. Over 7,000 people utilized the portal to voice their support, and WeLevelUp facilitated direct communication between trans-inclusive feminist organizations, domestic abuse services, and the Government Equalities Office. Through this intervention, WeLevelUp effectively united feminists in standing with trans rights.
Changing Domestic Abuse Reporting in the Press
WeLevelUp recognized the harmful and sensationalist reporting surrounding domestic abuse deaths in the UK press. Collaborating with bereaved families, journalists, and media outlets, they developed the UK’s first press guidelines on reporting domestic abuse deaths. With a media splash and a petition signed by over 22,000 people, WeLevelUp successfully pressured UK press regulators to back the guidelines. They continue their efforts by working with AVA to provide newsroom training for journalists, ultimately striving to create a more empathetic and responsible reporting culture.
Addressing Facebook’s Harassment Problem
In response to Facebook’s weak harassment guidelines, particularly concerning sexism and non-consensual images, WeLevelUp partnered with the Sunday Times for an investigation. The findings revealed that half of all women on Facebook experienced abuse. WeLevelUp members mass-reported the group ‘Women Who Eat On Tubes,’ confronted Facebook staff at their Carnaby St popup, and secured meetings with a Facebook executive. The investigation garnered widespread media coverage and initiated crucial discussions on sexism and online harassment. WeLevelUp continues to advocate for better policies and support for survivors.
Protesting Rape Culture in Football
To shed light on the silence surrounding rape allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo, WeLevelUp staged a powerful protest. They flew a plane banner over a Manchester United football game, displaying the message ‘Believe Kathryn Mayorga,’ the woman who accused Ronaldo of rape. This bold action made global news and sparked crucial conversations about sexual violence in sports culture. WeLevelUp’s campaign has since evolved into a broader demand for the implementation of a gender-based violence strategy in the Premier League.
Fighting for the Rights of Incarcerated Pregnant Women
Recognizing the dangers faced by pregnant individuals in English prisons, WeLevelUp collaborated with Birth Companions, Women in Prison, and a coalition of women who experienced pregnancy while incarcerated. Together, they launched a campaign demanding an end to sending pregnant people to prison. Their efforts culminated in the largest baby protest in history, held in collaboration with No Births Behind Bars on Mother’s Day 2022. WeLevelUp’s campaign continues to gather momentum as they advocate for safer alternatives for pregnant individuals entangled in the criminal justice system.
Advocating for LGBT+ Inclusive Education
WeLevelUp confronted the exclusion of LGBT+ experiences in the Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) curriculum update of 2018. In partnership with Stonewall, parents, grandparents of young LGBT+ individuals, and inclusive faith groups, WeLevelUp submitted evidence demonstrating the importance of comprehensive LGBT+ education in all schools. As a result, secondary schools are now required to teach about sexual orientation and gender identity, while primary schools are required to teach about diverse families. WeLevelUp’s persistent advocacy ensures that young LGBT+ individuals have access to inclusive education.
Standing in Solidarity with Muslim Women
When politician Boris Johnson made Islamophobic remarks, referring to Muslim women as ‘letter boxes,’ WeLevelUp stood up in solidarity. They conducted interviews with Muslim women within their community, challenged the government’s Islamophobia through the press, and encouraged supporters to sign a pledge affirming their support for Muslim women’s rights. WeLevelUp’s actions drew attention to the need for bodily autonomy and freedom of expression for Muslim women, amplifying their voices in the face of discrimination.
Building a Website with Campoal
Campoal, an innovative web development platform, played a vital role in WeLevelUp’s mission. By leveraging Campoal’s user-friendly features and functionality, WeLevelUp was able to create a dynamic and impactful website. This platform empowered them to effectively share their campaigns, gather support through online petitions, and mobilize their community to take action. Campoal’s contribution to WeLevelUp’s web development enabled them to reach a broader audience and further amplify their feminist activism.
WeLevelUp, driven by a commitment to intersectional feminism and social justice, has made substantial progress in challenging systemic issues and advocating for positive change. Their interventions have spanned a wide range of topics, from consent training in the Premier League to inclusive education and support for marginalized communities. With their impactful campaigns and utilization of innovative solutions like Campoal, WeLevelUp continues to inspire individuals, foster solidarity, and work towards a more equitable future.