Press Release
March 5, 2018


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday highlights the importance of having safe streets and public spaces to end gender-based harassment in the Philippines that not only traumatizes women but also hampers their freedom of movement.

As part of the Women's Month celebration, Hontiveros partners with the Senate Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point and the Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB), for a special photo exhibit that bring the experiences of women victims to light. It featured several women from different walks of life and their past experiences of sexual harassment in public spaces.

Through the visual narratives of 11 Filipino women from different walks of life, as captured by the Senate photographers, these women shared their stories about how it is to be a woman living and working in the cities. Beyond the cities' bustling life and bright lights, these brave women, exposes the ugly truth that is kept under the radar and swept under the rug: women as objects of day-to-day street harassment.

The exhibit is part of the women-victims' effort to speak out, inspire and reclaim the cities' streets to make them safe spaces for women. This exhibit is their story of courage and resistance.

The women subjects of the exhibit are Amber Quiban, Shamah Bulangis, Chi Vallido, Niniay Mohammad, Cha Roque, Ymi Castel, Ginx Petersson, Mich Dulce, Magnolia del Rosario, Kana Takahashi and Sarah Gomez.

The event was also attended by United Nations Population Fund Country Director Klaus Beck, UN Women National Project Officer Charisse Jordan, Childfund Philippines Country Director Aissa Ereneta and Louie Ocampo of UNAIDS.

Hontiveros is a champion of public spaces as she authored the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 (Senate Bill 1326) that seeks to penalize acts of gender-based harassment in public places such as the streets, transport, clubs, gyms and others.

According to a Social Weather Stations survey in 2016, an overwhelming 88% of women aged 18 to 24 years old experienced sexual harassment in the streets. While wolf-whistling and catcalling are the more common cases, other forms of sexual harassment include lascivious language, stalking, rubbing or touching, indecent gestures, exhibitionism and public masturbation. About 58% of these incidents take place on the streets and small alleys, they have also been reported to happen in public vehicles, public washrooms, schools, and workplaces.

News Latest News Feed