Tag Archives: Spain

Global Reflections on Street Harassment

Since January I and other bloggers from around the world have been writing for the Stop Street Harassment Blog. For me participating in the conversation about street harassment has been a cathartic experience, allowing me to reflect on how I deal with being harassed and how I view the men in my community who are harassing me and others. To bring Sexual Assault Awareness Month to a close, I’d like to leave you now with an overview of the past four months of the Stop Street Harassment Blog.

CreeperMove-HollabackDesMoinesIn April I wrote about the clash of sexism and racism when someone is harassed by a member of a different race. Ultimately no matter how many people of any given race harass you, they are still acting alone, and it is crucial that their sexism does not fuel our racism. Rocio Andrés of Spain also explored the individualism of harassers, but delved more into their humanity than I. She reminds us that they too are products of the society that we create, so we must try to continue to view them as human. She urges that understanding street harassers is not excusing them, but it is crucial to learning how we can prevent harassment to begin with.

In March I explained why self-care after being harassed is so important. Joe Samalin of New York listed TWENTY-NINE THINGS men can do to stop street harassment. 29! Katie Monroe of Philadelphia gave a shout out to HollabackPHILLY’s dance party and fundraiser put on by Get Lucid! which took place on April 5th. Also in March Rocio wrote about a missed opportunity to travel to Cairo as sexual assault and bombings stood in her way of exploring street harassment in the motherland. Pallavi Kamat of India wrote about the underlying causes of street harassment in Mumbai. Kriti Khatri of Nepal explained how street harassment can escalate to other, more severe forms of sexual violence. Brittany Oliver of Baltimore interviewed a woman in her community about street harassment and how it affects her. Joe also wrote in March how men’s silence in the face of harassment makes them allies to the harasser, not women. Brittany also wrote about Hollaback! Baltimore and their efforts to utilize local businesses to fight street harassment. And early on in March Katie explored how street harassment affects women cyclists in Philly.

bike womenThough February is a short month a lot was written by the Stop Street Harassment Blog cohort. Kriti looked at how using public transportation contributes to women being harassed in Nepal. Rocio contrasted the realities of sexual violence in places like Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the good things that are happening to combat street harassment in other places. She wrote about violence in war stating, “We love durings. As if there were neither after nor before.” Powerful stuff that! Pallavi highlighted some of the successful community engagement projects of Blank Noise in India. I dove into the link between street harassment and teen dating violence for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Sandria Washington of Chicago challenged the idea that more crossing guards would reduce girls being harassed on their way to school. Jeanette R. of California talked about racial profiling of men as a form of street harassment.  Joe explored how men can start to realize just how pervasive street harassment against women really is. February started with Andrea Ayres-Deets of San Francisco tearing open the ever-important idea that street harassment limits women’s political participation and participation in strategic nonviolent action.

In January Brittany encouraged everyone from Baltimore to Cairo to Meet Us on the Streets and give voice to the harassment that overruns society. Kriti highlighted the organization Astitwa and its success in changing how Nepali police address street harassment. Katie contrasted the differences between gender-based street harassment and bicycle-based harassment. For the anniversary of Roe v. Wade I wrote about the harassment of women seeking abortions and abortion care providers as a form of street harassment. Rocio explored how things like Scotland’s “Single Woman Policy” are just band-aid solutions to the gaping wound that is sexualized gender-based violence. Finally, back at the beginning, Pallavi reminded us that the streets are not only full of harassment, but in India they are far too often where young women go to die.

I’d like to thank the Founder/Executive Director of Stop Street Harassment, Holly Kearl, for giving me this opportunity to learn and share and grow.

Day 11- Women’s Activism in Europe

Europe has long considered itself the center of the world, as evidenced by most maps. And while the cultures, languages, foods and peoples of Europe are very diverse, they do not compare to the diversity of cultures and peoples in Africa and Asia, or the former diversity of Latin America. Europeans, over the course of history, have inflicted a painful history of imperialism, colonialism, persecution and war on the rest of the world. Today we will meet some European women who are both fighting against imperialism, and for human rights, including the European Women’s Lobby.

Spain: Women in Spain have made great gains in the fight for equality but are still not equal to men in terms of employment. This article explains how the financial crisis and subsequent unemployment in Spain adversely affects women there. Sex trafficking (which has also affected men and the transgender community) is another problem Spanish women are tackling but the issue is a sticky one for Spanish sex workers who participate voluntarily because of the lack of regulations.

Ireland: Abortion is a contentious issue for many but in Ireland with the Catholic Church overseeing the country’s morals, many women are fighting for their lives. The complete lack of access to abortion care in Ireland, even in cases where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, caused the European Court of Human Rights to rule that the country “violated women’s rights” by denying women abortion services. And with high rates of rape and sexual assault that abortion care is probably needed by many. Choice Ireland is one group that is working to ensure women have the right to exercise their choice to bodily autonomy and integrity.

Italy: Berlusconi. The name of the Italian Prime Minister alone makes many women’s skin crawl but his disregard for women is even more disgusting. Droves of Italian women and men, upwards of 50,000, came out in February to protest the PM and his numerous sex scandals, including one with an underage girl. Groups of women around the world also protested in solidarity, including Paris, Tokyo, and FEMEN in Kiev.

Norway: Domestic violence is Norway’s dirty little secret. Despite the UNDP’s continuous rating as the best country to live in, one in four women in Norway will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. This campaign tackles public awareness in a shocking way. Other groups in Norway protest military violence and discrimination against immigrants. This group encourages women to Be an activist! and provides training for women who want to participate in civil society.

Poland: Like Ireland, Poland’s moral conscience is lead by the patriarchal Catholic Church. Consequently abortion access is severely restricted but The Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning works to lighten restrictions. MANIFA is another group that has lead women and men in protests against discriminatory treatment of women in Poland, especially exploitation. The Polish Women’s Lobby also works for women’s equality. All of these groups, and indeed all Polish people, have the memory of Poland’s Solidarity movement icon Anna Walentynowicz to look up to.

Hungary: The Hungarian Women’s Lobby, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Day, rallied against domestic violence, in addition to fighting for women’s equality on a regular basis. Protests recently took place in New York City against the detention of Dr. Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife. Other Hungarian women have protested against restrictive media laws.

Croatia: CROW e-zine is a Croatian publication working to advance women’s rights. Various organizations exist in Croatia to fight for LGBTQAI rights. If you can read Croatian, this page looks interesting and the Center for Education, Counseling and Research page is also available in Croatian.


And here’s a bonus picture of anti-Berlusconi protests in Paris.

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