Guides in Chile campaign to outlaw street harassment

19 ديسمبر 2018
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Guides and Scouts in Chile staged a flashmob on the streets of their capital city to demand laws to eradicate street harassment.

More than a hundred girls and boys from the Association of Guides and Scouts Chile (Asociacion de Guias y Scouts de Chile; AGSCH) assembled on the colourful busy street Paseo Bandera in Santiago to call for effective powers to end the widespread problem.

The two-hour event rounded off activities for the annual 16 Days Of Activism, which had the theme of #OurStreetsToo (#LasCallesTambienSonNuestras), and was also part of the Association's work for WAGGGS' Stop The Violence campaign.

Guides in Chile campaign to end street harassment Asociacion de Guias y Scouts de Chile

On December 15, the group campaigned on the street, explaining the need for better laws and encouraging girls to write down their thoughts and opinions about the issues affecting them. Members of the Association have been discussing the best ways to end gender violence in their communities throughout the period of 16 Days.

In Chile, street harassment is rife. Surveys have suggested three out of four people have suffered some form of street sexual harassment in the past 12 months alone, and the figure is much higher for girls. As well as raising awareness of the problem throughout the country, AGSCH has been encouraging people to sign a petition calling for tighter laws throughout Chile. There are local laws in two districts of the city but the Guides and Scouts want to see these adopted across the country.

During their demonstration, the girls wrote phrases and slogans such as "girls need to be independent" and "girls need support, respect and empathy" on signs. To close the day, they all danced to the song Lucha en Equilibrio by Chilean singer Denise Rosenthal, whose lyrics are inspired by messages of equality and empowerment.

With their party atmosphere, the Guides and Scouts sent out a message to the community that it was important to discuss these issues.

The petition has now been delivered to Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, who is a member of the Special Commission dealing with legislation related to women and gender equality.

Sarah Nancollas, CEO of WAGGGS, said: "AGSCH is a great example of how Girl Guides are working on the international stage to change attitudes and improve the lives of girls everywhere, which is what our movement is all about. Working on projects like this also gives them the skills and the confidence to be leaders."

Read more about the AGSCH Stop The Violence campaign.

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