Stand with girls to end street harassment

Stand with girls to end street harassment

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There’s no one solution to street harassment and violence, there are many! Working together – with individuals, organisations and individuals playing their part – we can put an end to the harassment and violence faced by girls in our cities.

“I'm tired, street harassment hurts me to the bone. Is it that perhaps they do not realize that their ‘compliments’ hurt? I am starting to be afraid to leave home.”  Girl, 16, Lima

Sexual harassment doesn’t just happen in the workplace. Through our ground-breaking crowd-sourced map, we’re taking the momentum of #metoo into public places – like our streets, public transport  and universities.

Girls in cities have more opportunities and are more likely to be educated but they face sexual harassment, exploitation, and insecurity as they navigate urban environments.

Plan International research, including the stories shared by girls around the world via Free to Be, shows that:

  • Only 3.3% of girls reported feeling safe when catching public transport in Delhi
  • 80% of girls in Kampala don’t feel safe in public places
  • In Cairo, 32% of girls felt they could never talk to anyone about their safety concerns
  • In Hanoi, 39% of girls stated that they never or seldom felt safe when travelling by bus
  • 33% of young women in Sydney said they were first harassed between the ages of 11 and 15

The most common forms of street harassment reported in Sydney were: cat-calling (83%), menacing behaviour (55%), being told to smile (44%), having their path blocked (30%), being touched inappropriately (30%), physical violence/sexual assault (10%).  In almost all cases, the perpetrators were men (95%).




“I pass through here twice a day to get to work and am routinely verbally abused by men. I feel unsafe and would never go through here at night. I wish the police or government would listen to women’s stories and do something about this place. ” Young woman, Sydney

Girls can’t end harassment on their own - everyone has a role to play in making cities safer and more inclusive places.

Whether you’re making a commitment as an individual or getting your CEO or MP to stand up for change, together we can stand up and declare that our cities belong to everyone.

The more commitments, the clearer the message that no one should be made to feel unwelcome or unsafe in a public place.

“I don't want a perfect city either; the only thing that I want is that guys stop taking the liberty of commenting on me and saying things to me. I don't want much. I don't want birds or the smell of bread in the streets. All I want is for them to treat you normally, like a human being, and that's all.” Young woman, 18, Madrid

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Make a commitment to help end street harassment as an organisation, business or government body.

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See below to see what governments and organizations are doing to make cities safer, more inclusive places for everyone.


Monash University stands with girls against street harassment.

Understanding and designing for gendered experiences cannot be a reactive afterthought. The approach of Monash University’s XYX Lab is future-focused and places the safety of citizens at the forefront of the discussion. Building on the foundational awareness of intersectional gender issues XYX Lab frame community responsibility as a method to uncover shared visions.


Crowdspot stands with girls against street harassment.

This year, Crowdspot partnered with Plan International and Monash University’s XYX Lab to launch the Free to Be Sydney, Lima, Kampala, Madrid and Delhi - giving girls a chance to share their experiences in a powerful way. Read more from Crowdspot about their work on Free to Be.

Plan International

Taxi companies in Honiara are working with girls to address harassment and violence.

Girls are driving change  through the Safer Cities Program in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Thanks to their advocacy one taxi service is working on a gold plan for providing security for women and girls at night time. Another taxi service has a woman taxi driver joining their fleet, giving girls another option if they don't feel safe travelling with male drivers.

This International Day of the Girl, girls are also meeting with the two largest taxi fleets to share their experiences of harassment and violence and to begin a dialogue on how taxis can be safer for all girls in Honiara.


ARUP stands with girls against street harassment

ARUP is an independent firm of designers, engineers, architects, planners, consultants and technical specialists working across every aspect of today’s built environment. ARUP has pledged to stand with love girls and implement solutions to make Sydney safer and more inclusive for all.

Plan International

Transit workers are fighting sexual harassment in Hanoi

In Hanoi, over 1,350 transit staff are being trained on gender based violence and street harassment through our Safer Cities for Girls program in Vietnam. Ticket collectors, like Khanh, now have the tools to intervene when sexual harassment occurs.

Committee for Sydney

Committee for Sydney stands with girls against street harassment.

Girls can’t end harassment on their own - everyone has a role to play in making cities safer and more inclusive places. The more individuals and organisations who chose to stand with girls, the clearer the message that no one should be made to feel unwelcome or unsafe in a public place.

Plan International

Motorcycle taxi drivers  in Kampala are campaigning for girls safety

In Kampala, transit operators are uniting on the streets to campaign for girls’ safety. In a show of solidarity the Bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) Safety Club for Girls rode through the streets in a mass public awareness campaign, wearing brightly colored reflector jackets and calling on their fellow transport operators to respect girls’ safety.


We are campaigning to end harassment thanks to the thousands of girls around the world who shared their stories through Plan International’s Free to Be maps.

Free to Be was designed in collaboration with Crowdspot, Monash University’s XYX Lab and, crucially, young women. It’s a crowd-mapping tool that enabled young women in Sydney, Delhi, Kampala, Lima and Madrid to identify and share public spaces that make them feel uneasy, scared or happy and safe. It has empowered young women in these cities to call out unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where change needs to occur.

View the archived maps here:

monash university