Monday, June 11, 2012
900 Young Men Take a Stand Against Harassment of Women
Harassment of women on public transportation and other public arenas in Colombo has become the norm. It shouldn’t be. Women deserve the peace of mind to travel in public transportation without dreading inappropriate comments or physical contact. Mothers shouldn’t have to worry about what would happen to their daughters when they travel to school or tuition. Young women shouldn’t have to forgo employment opportunities because of fear of traveling by bus or train and being treated inappropriately. Time and again, women have attempted to stand up against harassment to no avail. Sri Lanka Unites is taking a unique approach to restore to women their dignity and make known the law of the land which takes a strict stand against harassment of women.
S.H.O.W (Stop Harassment of Women) You Care, is a campaign for respectful treatment of women in public spaces. Young men all over Colombo are going to take a stand against harassment of women to bring about change in a systematic manner. The campaign will be launched on June 21st at 1:00 pm. From June 25th through June 30th, nine hundred young men will travel on the busiest bus routes in Colombo in teams of three. The young men are students from leading boys schools in Colombo. The teams will board buses according to a strategically formulated plan and address the passengers in all three languages. The teams will first apologize to all women for any incidents of harassment they may have encountered in the past. Women will be given leaflets highlighting the legal recourse available to them if they experience such treatment. Next they will charge the men to take responsibility to safeguard this right and the negative reflection on them, if they fail. Commuters will also be given additional information regarding basic women’s rights and the actions that could be taken if one’s found violating them.
You could be a part of this initiative by becoming a volunteer; either as a student travelling on the bus routes or as a mentor guiding the students through the campaign. Visit our website for more information and to sign up: http://www.srilankaunites.org/VolunteerApplicationForm.php