What is Street Harassment?

What is Street Harassment?
by Asim Hafeez

A few months back there was a video floating around on social media where a woman in New York City, the financial capital of world’s most developed region, United States of America was seen as an object of constant Taunts, and vulgar remarks from people while she was passing through the streets of the city. The woman was constantly harassed, provoked and was somewhat treated as a sex object, considering the remarks that were heard in that video. That was a small glimpse of what street harassment could be.
One could have varied definitions of street harassment, and quite honestly narrowing down the concept of street harassment to a particular definition would nullify it’s grave consequences and the seriousness of the topic. It has been around since the beginning of human civilization. From world’s most developed countries to under-privileged and mal-educated regions like Pakistan, it has been rampant and there seems to be no end to it. Women are harassed in their work-places, and streets are no exception. Most of us are well aware of the tradition where if one of our younger sister, or any of our female members of the family have to go somewhere; a small child is asked to escort them even to the nearest of locations. This sums up the current situation of our country, where nothing and nowhere is safe for women. They are harassed on streets, as if the male members of our society are obliged to do the primitive ritual.

Being a very serious issue and a Human rights violation itself, street harassment is still a very under-researched and addressed issue. Some of America’s surveying companies have done some research, however. The statistics are terrifying. There is an exponential increase not only in the number of incidents but also the harassment culture encroaching the urban areas. California, one of the America’s most important states topped the list with highest percentage of street harassment. It is very important to educated people not only in the regard of prevention of street harassment but also as to what street harassment is. Most of the males interviewed who were found to be involved in the harassment, denied the allegation altogether. Street harassment can consist of various different acts. The most common ones, experienced by the women all around the world are:

Whistling
Vulgar gestures
Remarks on dressing
Character assassination
Honking

It is important to be able to understand the concept and follow it to safe-guard not only yourself, but your loved ones. Street harassment is a global issue and governments of various countries have to take serious steps to address and mitigate the issue on immediate basis.

StopStreeHarassment

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