FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Holly Kearl, email@example.com
Groups in 35 Countries Will Take Action to Stop Street Harassment, April 2-8
They will Raise Awareness Through Rallies, Flyering, and Tweet Chats
RESTON, VA — In its seventh year, Meet Us on the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week will be observed in more than 35 countries. Tens of thousands of people in countries like Afghanistan, Chile, Egypt, Germany, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Romania will participate in actions that challenge the prevalent social problem of gender-based street harassment, something that studies in more than 35 countries suggest most women and many LGBTQ individuals face.
The organization Free Women Writers will release a video that features three stories of street harassment told by their members. “Every time we have an event or a conversation with women in Afghanistan, we hear about how prevalent street harassment is. From school girls to moms, everyone tells us how it makes them feel unsafe and discourages them from going outside the house. This is why we keep working on this issue throughout the year, but especially on International Anti-Street Harassment Week,” said Noorjahan Akbar, the organization’s founder.
Many actions are planned in Argentina, including a campaign to address rape culture in bars, pubs and night clubs and the release of short videos where transwomen share their street harassment stories. “Acción Respeto is joining the Week because it’s time women take the streets back. The fight against street harassment is a gender violence battle that we, women, will win,” said Juliana Cobos, a coordinator of the campaign.
Recently in Amsterdam, Stop Straatintimidatie helped a local fine on street harassment pass and is partnering with the local government on an event to bring attention to it. They also will award a “Woman-friendly” plaque to a local bar owner to applaud her zero tolerance of sexual harassment. Founder Gaya Branderhorst said, “Stop Straatintimidatie is joining the Week from the Netherlands because we know we need to keep fighting to have street harassment be looked at by everyone as what it is: despicable.”
“Safecity believes in safe public spaces for all, especially women and girls. We have participated in Anti Street Harassment Week since 2014 and this year we are pleased to host events and discussions on sexual violence in public spaces in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar and Pune,” said co-founder and CEO ElsaMarie D’Silva.
UN Women’s Safe Cities Metro Manila division in the Philippines will hold small group discussions with tricycle drivers associations (tuktuks) and they will distribute Safe Cities vests for the drivers. “There is undeniable momentum to advance women’s safety issues in public spaces, and we want to keep backing it up. There have been united calls for action in Metro Manila from women who want to walk the streets #freefromfear, and we have heard them, and the city governments are starting to hear them — women and girls want #SafeCities, that’s why UN Women is proud to join Anti-Street Harassment Week and support this advocacy,” said Katherine Belen, UN Women Safe Cities Project Officer.
Stop Telling Women to Smile is a primary co-sponsor of the week and people and groups anyway can request and post the famous “Stop telling women to smile” posters in their community on April 7. Founder Tatyana Fazlalizadeh explained, “People from all over can participate in a night of action, knowing that people in different parts of the world are doing the same thing.”
“Everyone should have the right to be in public spaces safely, but that is a right that millions of people are routinely denied due to street harassment,” said Holly Kearl, the founder of the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment. “We want to see this change and by speaking out in a coordinated way, we can strengthen our efforts both globally and locally to create safe public spaces for all.”
Any individual can help speak out against street harassment during the week simply by sharing stories on and offline. Visit www.MeetUsontheStreet.org for more information about the week and how to join.
Stop Street Harassment is a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting and ending gender-based street harassment worldwide through public education and community mobilization. SSH organizes International Anti-Street Harassment Week and runs a national street harassment hotline in the USA in collaboration with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and Defend Yourself.Share on Facebook