Sadiq Khan wants Londoners to step in and say 'maaate' to pals when they are sexist to women

21 July 2023, 09:33 | Updated: 21 July 2023, 09:41

Sadiq Khan was joined by Romesh Ranganathan to launch the campaign
Sadiq Khan was joined by Romesh Ranganathan to launch the campaign. Picture: Mayor of London/Instagram

By Will Taylor

Sadiq Khan has launched a new campaign telling men and boys to say the word "maaate" to each other when their friends are sexist and misogynistic.

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The mayor of London wants them to step in when they see pals use language or behave in a way with women and girls that "crosses the line".

His office specifically spelt the word "maaate" in material promoting the initiative which is backed by comedian Romesh Ranganathan.

Mr Khan said: "'Maaate' is a simple and effective intervention that can help stop problematic language and behaviour in its tracks.

Read more: Susan Hall wins race to become Tory candidate to face-off against Sadiq Khan in London mayoral election

"Last year I urged men and boys to challenge sexist behaviour and misogynistic attitudes with my award-winning 'Have A Word' campaign. Now, we're giving them the word to say.

"It is only by ensuring that women and girls are both protected and respected that we can continue to build a better, safer London for everyone."

Say Maaate to a Mate | Romesh Ranganathan and Sadiq Khan in conversation

Ranganathan said: "I'm backing this campaign because we can no longer allow sexism and misogyny to be dismissed as 'banter.'

"By asking men and boys to say 'maaate' to a mate we can be better friends to each other and better allies to women and girls.

Read more: 'He’ll shut London down': MPs slam Sadiq Khan as he draws up plans for pay-per-mile scheme on the capital's roads

"As men, we have a responsibility to work together to stop sexist and misogynistic behaviour. Whether it’s in the classroom, the boardroom or onstage, everyone deserves to be treated with respect."

The decision to use "maaate" came after Mr Khan teamed up with what was described as "world-leading behavioural scientists".

Caution: Strong language

Research shows two in three men want to intervene when they hear misogynistic language being used but don't know what to say, the mayor's office explained.

One in four male Londoners aged between 19 and 34 said they regretted not calling out a friend or relative over misogyny.

Shaming friends was deemed to be a worse way of dealing with it than challenging the behaviour respectfully.

Previously, Mr Khan called on men to "have a word" with themselves and friends to tackle violence against women.

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