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Chalk it up: Sonke Gender Justice campaign fights catcalling with chalk

The initiative calls on people to write in chalk of personal experiences of harassment, such as catcalling, at the exact location where they occurred.

In collaboration with an international social media advocacy campaign, Sonke Gender Justice has launched a one-month-long initiative. Picture: Sonke Gender Justice.

CAPE TOWN - A local NGO fed up with catcalling is fighting back, with chalk.

Sonke Gender Justice has joined the Catcalling Campaign to expose harassers. The initiative calls on people to write in chalk of personal experiences of harassment, such as catcalling, at the exact location where they occurred.

The organisation's Gadeeja Abbas explained: “This is what makes this campaign different. It opened this conversation to a variety of people. There were men who opened up to about their experiences and said they did not feel comfortable speaking about them to other men.”

In a statement, Sonke Gender Justice explained the concept was inspired by the Instagram initiative @catcallsofnyc, created by Sophie Sandberg, which has garnered a following of 164,000 people.

View this post on Instagram

*The sound of the interviews collected were distorted to protect the identity of the womxn who chose to share their stories. Some of the interviews might be disturbing to sensitive viewers. Discretion is advised.* “I recently took a tour of Europe. In those spaces, there were not many people of colour. We were at a vibey place, a bit of a party was happening. This guy comes up to me and he is like ‘Hi, do you want to sleep with me tonight?’. I said no, I obviously did not want to do that. Then he said to me that black women are seen as sexual creatures. He said: ‘Don’t black girls like that type of thing?’ He was insinuating that I was promiscuous because I am black. It made me feel very uncomfortable because I believed that people were seeing me in that way.” 20-years old @catcallsofnyc @catcallsofcapetown #stopsexualharassment #stopgbv #metoo #webelieveyou

A post shared by Sonke Gender Justice (@sonkegenderjustice) on

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