Karolle Rabarison is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see her popping up across the Women's Safety Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!A friend recently belittled the power of words to tackle gender issues, and – enraged – I threw my computer out the window.
OK, not literally!
The computer stayed right next to me. But I did go home frustrated. It took me a few days to realize why.
When it comes to gender equality, words and language – not women-only commutes, driver profiling, or safety apps – are the most accessible and powerful tools we have. The way we use our words both reflects and influences our and others’ values and has the power to perpetuate sexism and gender-based violence. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that our words have the incredible power to create the opposite of those behaviors.
"Language can have a powerful impact in shaping one’s own identity and the identities of those around you. I was motivated to participate in this campaign to bring light to the impact our everyday words have in affecting consciousness."
— Abhi Sanka, speaking about the You Don't Say campaign.
How might our words promote communities that are safer and empowering for women and girls?
Here are exciting works-in-progress from the Ideas phase that aim to use words, language, and stories to create positive change.
This happened here by Natasha Freidus
Initiative to bring women’s stories to public spaces like bus stops as crowdsourced audio.
Story sharing by Sarah Beckett
Candy Chang-inspired, low-tech platform for men and women to share positive and negative stories in a high-traffic public space.
Free comic books featuring fictional, locally-originated heroines by Neil Sharma
The title is self-explanatory, and the idea is empowering!
The book club – educational audiobook series by Lauren Popish
Building upon the comic books for girls, Lauren’s idea is about radio stories or audiobooks.
The blind eye project by Jes Simson
Collecting and sharing stories specifically to benefit programs that rely on political or institutional support.
Comic strips about sex education for children and teenagers by EarlyBird
Sex ed delivered in a fun and accessible way that promote safety and respect for others.
Harassing women is a cowardly act by Manjul Rathee
Positive communication “to reposition street harassment as an act of cowardice rather than a display of bravado.”
The Ideas phase closes April 30. Keep up the brainstorming and collaboration!