Reflecting on the number of people and organizations that worked hard to address and end street harassment is inspiring. This end-of-year list is longer than last year’s list, and that’s a very good thing. Given the length, it’s divided into four posts.
Post 1: significant successes overall and 8 SSH successes.
Post 2 (this one): 20 new or expanded anti-street harassment campaigns.
Post 3: New creative anti-street harassment initiatives.
Post 4: People who stood up to harassers.
New or Expanded Campaigns:
Illustrating the global scope of this problem, here are just 20 of the many anti-street harassment campaigns that launched or expanded this year.
1. The United Nations launched a “Safe and Friendly Cities for All” campaign worldwide
3. After a Toronto (Canada) police officer told young women they would be safe from victimization if they didn’t dress like “sluts,” activists in Toronto marched against victim-blaming in what they dubbed a SlutWalk. Soon groups all over the world held their own SlutWalks to counter victim-blaming, and some cities focused their walks specifically on street harassment.
4. Young Women for Change in Afghanistan launched an anti-street harassment campaign that included a march through the streets of Kabul, a PSA about how Islam forbids the harassment of women, a 700 poster-hanging campaign in Kabul, and a 4,000 person study that is currently underway.
5. Ghaidaa Al Absi launched The Safe Streets campaign in Yemen to address street harassment. She created a website to track street harassment and recently she hosted an exhibition of local artists’ work on the topic.
6. On the website Women Speak, founder Simone Leid, created an online place for women in Trinidad and Tobago to share their stories of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, street harassment has come up several times.
7. Organizations in Sri Lanka called Reach Out and Beyond Borders created an anti-street harassment campaign called Join the Fight Against Harassment. They held a “Man Up” event to engage boys and men in ending street harassment.
8. The feminist collective Nasawiya in Lebanon took their campaign “Adventures of Salwa” to new heights. They released several videos of the cartoon character heroine Salwa fighting against harassers in various situations. The video of her fighting a harasser at a cinema was aired at a cinema in Beirut for a month. They have a website where people share stories. They released an anti-sexual harassment booklet, launched a hotline (76-676862), and sent two trucks through the streets of Beirut to blast anti-street harassment messages.
10. Activists in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan led a day against sexual harassment through blogging and tweeting (with the hashtag #EndSH) on June 20 and then they did a follow-up campaign led by HarassMap in late August to advocate for a harassment-free Eid. Activists in Egypt continue to rally people together in the face of the harassment and assault many women protesters face at Tahrir Square, especially from the military police.
11. Activists in Morocco launched the “Women, find a solution” campaign to raise awareness about the widespread problem.
13. Maps4Aid in India is an innovative way to report incidents of violence against women (including street harassment), NGO activities, crisis situations through Web/SMS/PhoneApps using the Ushahidi platform and integrated with FrontlineSMS.
15. Five media students from Wilson College in Mumbai, India, launched a Chappal Maarungi campaign to encourage people to raise their voices and symbolicaly throw a sandal at street harassers. And six students at St. Andrews College in Mumbai, India, started the Freeze the Tease campaign to raise awareness about street harassment and they provided SMS texts of tips on how to tackle it to interested participants.
17. Safe Streets AZ launched as a pilot program of Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (USA) to address public harassment, particularly the harassment aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified youth and young adults.
18. Safe Slope launched in Brooklyn, New York (USA), to provide services and resources to help empower and protect the communities of South Slope/Greenwood Heights/Windsor Terrace/Park Slope.
19. Brooklyn Bike Patrol, also in Brooklyn, New York (USA) launched to offer a free escort system for women who feel unsafe walking from subway stations to their homes during the late evenings hours. Their hot-line is 718-744-7592.Share on Facebook