Shouting back and people listen
Several inspirations highlighting the fact that the issue of safety and empowerment was an issue that went beyond low-income urban areas.
Illustrating the global as well as "invisible" nature of the project, the Everyday Sexism project started in the UK.
The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss."
Street harassment is a human-rights violation.' Photograph: Alamy
video echoed many posts regarding the cultural prejudices, how ingrained they are (to the point that women think "it's normal"), and the sense of loneliness.
Here are quotes from the video:
"I did not want to trouble anyone about it"
"I thought, maybe it was my fault. From that point on, I never said anything"
"I felt there was no use to speak about it"
"Almost normal to be quiet about something like that
Laura Bates, the founder of the project argues that social media as giving women a voice, a sense of empowerment because they don't feel they are "the only ones", realizing they are not guilty and knowing that others stand up.
An interviewee reflecting on her participation notes:
"It makes me more comfortable for saying something and standing up for myself because if other women can, and they can be taken seriously, then I should as well."
The founder concludes by saying:
"The power of women's voices in that story and how much they care. They are shouting back and people are listening."
What can we learn from this project:
- How global the issue is: going beyond low-income urban areas in India and Nepal. How can we learn from experiences in various countries (we've already started during this phase) and cross-pollineate solutions and develop new approaches?
- How giving a voice to women is a first step to empowerment and hopefully to awareness and potentially change:
Giving a voice, recording and making visible is crucial. Technology helped here. How can we leverage this learning and develop similar projects (but with possibly different technologies, potentially non-digital) in low-income urban areas.
What about storytelling, boards, radio?