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Hollaback! Mobile Technology Against Street Harassment

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

Hollaback! is a crowdsourced platform seeking to harness the power of mobile technologies to denounce street harassment. More than a tool or series of tools, Hollaback! is self-described as a “movement”:

Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. Comments from “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault are a daily, global reality for women and LGBTQ individuals. But it is rarely reported, and it’s culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman or for being gay. At Hollaback!, we don’t buy it.

Based on the premise that “the explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment,” the project is encouraging women around the world to use the tools available to them to share their stories and geo-locate incidents and reports.

Incorporating a smartphone “app”, YouTube videos, Google maps, a Facebook group, a Twitter account and a multi-blogging platform, Hollaback! is a call to arms that requires an active involvement from the participants, based on the clever and articulate use of web and mobile tools, but above all it is a campaign to change the cultural attitudes towards street harassment.

Hollaback! suggests several ways of getting involved. The project originated in the United States, with presence in several American cities, but local Hollaback! web sites have already been created by women in cities like London, Mumbai and Buenos Aires, and countries like the Czech Republic and France.

Hollaback! is a positive model of citizen journalism, where women with access to mobile technologies can end the silence and have their voices heard. Are you listening?

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

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