Fighting everyday sexism

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90 Day Report

Empowering women, educating girls, eliminating sexism

posted Oct 7, 2013 by Alyssa Tartaglione

“Reading through the stories on this site has been both painful and healing. I’ve admitted more here than to my dearest friends.”

“Had an experience a few years ago I've never told a soul about. Your video made me realize I'm not alone. Thank you.”

“It's the first time ever that I could share my experiences and not be ridiculed/shamed/blamed.”

Progress

Since our project was fully funded, we’ve unveiled a brilliant new help and support hub directing men, women and girls to over 90 organizations that can give them invaluable support from rape crisis centers to specialist domestic violence projects for refugee women. We’ve launched new international versions of the project for Denmark, Sweden, Serbia and Japan, taking the project’s capacity for positive change to four new countries, with many more in the pipeline. We launched a high-profile campaign, and won a landmark victory, forcing Facebook to change its policies on rape and domestic violence. We collaborated with the British Transport Police using the stories we’ve collected to retrain 2000 officers for a crackdown on sexual offenses. As a result, reporting rates have risen by 20% and offenders being caught by 32%. We have given talks on sexism, harassment, assault and empowerment to 500 adults and 300 children and delivered dedicated training to 50 young people to go into schools and educate their peers on healthy relationships and consent. We were part of the Reducing Domestic Violence Coalition, which took part in a live panel from The Hague on world Peace Day, streamed live to 300,000 people. We’ve met with UK Members of Parliament to work on a reduction in media sexism and collaborated with the Council of Europe on new guidelines for European countries on the media portrayal of women. During this period, we have won three awards including a Change Opinion award for our impact on public perceptions of sexism.

Risks and challenges

The main challenge we've faced over the past three months has been a barrage of rape and death threats sent by people who think women should be seen and not heard. This has been frustrating because it not only takes a huge emotional toll and uses up mental energy, but also slows us down because of the hours and hours it has taken up speaking to police, visiting police stations and giving witness statements to deal with the problem. But it hasn't stopped us from staying on track and managing to carry out every scheduled event and campaign as planned.

Up Close

"I’ve never known such a response to a speaker before. Your topic and project are so hugely relevant."

“After reading so, so many of your stories, I finally understand…please know you now have a defender in me.”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart and from the hearts of many like-minded men.”

“Thank you for this site, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

“I've been groped before and only since I've seen the video you made, I’ve realized that I shouldn't have just shrugged it off, it's sexual harassment and it isn't acceptable.”

“Thank you for helping women everywhere speak up against everyday sexism”

"I don't feel so alone now. Thank you."

Next steps

New international versions are planned for Estonia, Singapore, Mexico, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Catalonia. Our website redesign is planned to make the site searchable, making it a more valuable resource for journalists. A new section on digital security will increase safety for everybody who participates and a media section will raise awareness of sexism and violence against women.

We have 30 talks for adults, students and children planned, to educate and empower thousands of people. We will work with the Reuters Foundation at the Trust Women conference, where we will propose a global collaborative action to reduce Violence Against Women. And we’ll continue to raise voices of girls and women across the world to fight for change.

Budget

We are on track to complete the proposed website upgrades, new international project versions and awareness raising and community outreach work within our proposed budget over the next 8 months.

Line Items

Projected budget

Amount spent so far

Operating costs

Dedicated website server

Website redesign

Adding resources and media

International versions

$15,000

$900

$2000

$1000

$1000

$5000

$0

$500

$500

$250

Our work is really making a difference by putting issues like sexism, sexual harassment, assault, rape and violence against women on the global agenda. By partnering with organizations around the world, including talks in the past three months in the Cayman Islands and Amsterdam, we are working hard to spread our message far and wide. Again and again we receive stories from women saying they have reported an assault or stood up to sexism for the first time because our project helped them realize they had the right to say no.

Additional resources

These articles give an idea of what we've been up to since the project was funded, and how far the project has managed to reach:

 

  • Advocacy
  • Gender discrimination
  • Innovation

The Everyday Sexism Project fights gender imbalance worldwide by collecting testimonies, raising awareness and speaking out.

Why we care: Women around the world face daily sexism, harassment and even assault, from workplace discrimination to sexual assault on public transport.

How we’re solving this: Creating a cultural shift to let girls and women know that they DO have the right to say no and changing the conversation on sexism and gender.

The Everyday Sexism Project started out as a simple website where women (and men) could record their daily experiences of sexism, from the ‘minor’, niggling incidents like wolf whistles, to sexual assault and even rape. In a world in which 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime and only around 13% of countries have female leaders, sexism is nonetheless frequently dismissed as something that is ‘no longer an issue’. The Everyday Sexism Project aims to change that through consciousness raising, making the sheer scale of the problem clear for all to see and igniting cultural change to end it.

Since its launch in April 2012, the project has amassed more than 30,000 women's stories from all over the world and expanded to 16 countries worldwide. Women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations have added their voices - disabled and non-disabled, religious and non-religious, employed and unemployed. A 5-year old girl asked to be turned into a boy so she could go into space. A 7-year old disabled girl in a wheelchair and a 74-year old woman in a mobility scooter recorded almost identical experiences of shouted abuse about 'female drivers.'

And again and again, over and over, when women try to speak out about what is happening, they are told that they are 'overreacting', or 'uptight' - that they need to learn to 'take a compliment'.

But something extraordinary started to happen. As word of the project spread and hit the national press around the world, from the Times of India to French Glamour to Grazia South Africa, women started writing in to say it have given them strength. Strength to realise they no longer had to accept harassment. That they had the right to say no. That they could report assault and demand that the police take it seriously. That they could talk to their families for the first time about having been raped.

All this was achieved without any funding at all, but now the project has the chance to expand even further:

  • Schools and universities are asking for talks, lectures and seminars on the project’s findings – an opportunity to reach out to the younger generation and let them know about these issues before it is too late.
  • Government officials are reaching out, asking for information about the project’s findings and how it can help advise them on new policy on issues like sex and relationships education – a real chance to work to turn the experiences reported to the project into real-world policy change to help other women.
  • Bodies from police forces to trade unions have contacted us to see how the information we have gathered can inform their efforts to tackle issues like sexual offences and workplace sexual harassment more effectively. So the awful experiences women are reporting us can be transformed into real-world change to prevent other women having to go through the same thing.
  • Women are starting to write in not just to report their experiences, but also asking for help and resources to deal with issues from domestic violence to rape. We want to expand the Everyday Sexism website to include far greater information and resources to help everybody who visits us to find the help and support they need as well as sharing their story.
  • We have already expanded to launch new versions of the projects in 15 countries around the world, but we need the resources to give these individual pages the support they need to expand and achieve the success of the original site.
  • Already women from over 10 other countries, including Poland, Serbia, India and Denmark have written to ask us to launch new versions to cater for those countries too.

In order to achieve all this and make the project sustainable, this project will help fund operating costs to cover a full time member of staff, funding for the necessary upgrades and additions to the website, as well as expansion to new country sites.

For every woman who writes her experience on the Everyday Sexism Project, we're using the knowledge she shares to change things. Because our voices are loudest when we raise them together.

 

Operating costs for this project include a member of staff working on the project, office and stationary costs, travel expenses.

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