Meet the Safe Public Spaces Mentoring Program Pilot Recipients!
SSH worked with them from July 15 to October 15, 2013, as they undertook anti-street harassment projects they designed in their communities. Combined they reached hundreds of people in Afghanistan, Cameroon and Chicago, USA.
1. “Raising Awareness Campaign about Street Harassment in High Schools in Kabul,” Kabul, Afghanistan
During August and early September, college-age activists in Kabul created and gave a series of workshops on street harassment in local high schools. First, they did a three-part workshop series at Star Education Society, a private coed language academy in west of Kabul.
Workshop #1 included reading women’s narratives about street harassment so they can perceive sexual harassment from the perspective of the victims.
Workshop #2 included short documentaries about street harassment and students worked in groups to discuss the documentaries and brainstorm some practical solutions to stop street harassment.
Workshop #3 was activity-based with students making posters, singing a song, or performing a play with the topic of campaign against street harassment in their school.
Then the activists held workshops in four public high schools (this part was sponsored by Women in Public Service Project). More than 40 students attended the various workshops.
“We had many students who found the program interesting, informative, and productive. They believed that the problem of street harassment could not be solved with short term programs and requested us to continue it in the future, and to provide spaces for discussions with the presence of both male and female participants. They suggested having media (TV) coverage for the program to spread the message to the rest of the society and engage more people in the discussions,” reported the activists. (Read their full report.)
The college-age youth trained several other people to be able to conduct the workshops in other schools. Those workshops are taking place in September.
2. “Understanding the Responding to Street Harassment Safely,” Buea, Southwest Region, Cameroon
This project had two phases. First, Zoneziowh held informal focus group discussions with young people around the city. Out of the focus groups, the project leaders created educational posters and stickers containing messages condemning sexual harassment and will paste them on walls and strategic sites in the city to raise public awareness.
The second phase was a six hours training seminar with more than 25 young women, girls and men from diverse sociocultural backgrounds on November 30, 2013. Participants were asked to share personal stories of harassment and solutions they sought. Participants will learn about literary works on harassment, how to differentiate street harassment from compliments,and they will engage in role playing to explore the issue and its solutions.
3. “End Street Harassment Campaign,” Chicago, IL, USA
Community members in Chicago created three short, humorous street harassment films. The goal of the films is to start conversations about street harassment and show it is not a compliment.
The films premiered at an October 13 event that was followed by a community discussion about street harassment.