- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
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Labour Senedd Member Joyce Watson has called on the Welsh Government to help schools challenge misogynistic online content.
Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday (10 Jan), the Mid and West Wales member said the case of Andrew Tate had “lifted the lid on a pervasive, toxic and dangerous culture that is targeting vulnerable boys.”
British kickboxer and former Big Brother contestant, Tate, is facing human trafficking charges in Romania. He has built a cult online following by promoting violence against women.
Mrs Watson said she was “extremely anxious” to know what schools were doing to protect girls and counter “misogynistic ideology”.
Joyce Watson MS said:
“Trefnydd, I’d like to hear from the education minister about what is being done to address misogynistic ideology in the classroom.
“The case of Andrew Tate has lifted the lid on a pervasive, toxic and dangerous culture that is targeting vulnerable boys in particular.
“And it’s endemic. I must confess I’d not heard of him until the current legal case, because I’m not on the platforms or algorithms that promote his hate speech. But his influence among younger men and boys is astonishing. He was the third most searched person online last year, after the late Queen and Donald Trump. His videos have gained more than 12 billion views on TikTok.
“I’m extremely anxious to know what is being done in our schools to safeguard girls and to encourage all students to question and challenge the misogynistic content that they’re being exposed to. Because if society doesn’t address the problems facing boys and young men today – and help them answer the questions of what it means to be a good man – then predatory people like Andrew Tate will.”
Lesley Griffiths, the minister responsible for organising government business in the Senedd, assured Mrs Watson that safeguarding responsibilities must be taken seriously in all education settings – and pointed to school resources for keeping safe online.
Lesley Griffiths MS, Trefnydd, said:
“I think we need to be very, very clear that we need to ensure that we protect all children and young people, and, in particular, boys, from harm and influence from individuals on abusive and unhealthy relationships.
“All education settings in Wales have a legal duty to ensure that children have access to a safe learning environment, and I know the Minister for education expects those safeguarding responsibilities to be taken very seriously. You’ll be aware of Hwb’s dedicated ‘Keeping safe online’ area, and the guidance and the tools and the training on a range of online safety issues are available for schools to access.”
Hwb is the Welsh Government website and collection of online tools provided to all schools in Wales.
Joyce Watson is founder and chair of the Welsh Parliament’s cross-party group concerned with Human Trafficking.
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