First International Anti-Street Harassment Day
WASHINGTON, DC – On March 20, thousands of women and men across the United States and throughout the world in cities such as Cairo, Cape Town, Delhi, London, Mexico City, and Toronto will participate in the first International Anti-Street Harassment Day.
Numerous studies show that more than 80 percent of women worldwide face catcalls, groping, stalking, and other forms of gender-based street harassment, especially when they are alone in public. Despite the evidence that street harassment is a global problem and one that reduces women’s mobility and limits their access to resources, it’s often dismissed as a trivial problem, a compliment, or women’s fault.
“Street harassment is a form of gender violence, and it impedes women’s equality with men,” said Holly Kearl, street harassment expert and founder of International Anti-Street Harassment Day. “Since street harassment often increases during the spring months, I saw March 20, the first day of spring, as an ideal day to bring people together to speak out and take action against street harassment.”
The goals of International Anti-Street Harassment Day are to inspire future initiatives focused on combating street harassment locally and globally and to take us one step closer toward ending the social acceptability of the bullying behavior.
Every participant of International Anti-Street Harassment Day will raise awareness about street harassment by sharing their stories online or in person. Hundreds of participants plan to attend community events, hand out materials on their campus or at subway stops, and conduct surveys and audits to better evaluate safety issues for women in their area.
In Egypt, in light of recent attention focused on the problem of men harassing women, Harassmap co-founders Rebecca Chiao and Engy Ghozlan are organizing teams of volunteers to walk through their neighborhoods and talk about street harassment with key individuals, like shop keepers and transportation workers. “Our idea is to create safe zones for women … to help change the street’s environment when it comes to sexual harassment acceptability,” Ghozlan said.
Individuals interested in participating can find 10 ideas for action at www.stopstreetharassment.com, RSVP on Facebook, tweet using the hashtag #antistreetharassmentday, and look for existing events — or add their own — on CrowdMap.
Spring is no excuse for street harassment.
- 12 events are listed on CrowdMap
- Facebook event pages for other places: