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.