Why this story matters:
Although Madrid is considered to be one of the safest cities in the world, 10% of young women aged between 14 and 25 have suffered harassment on Madrid's street.
Lascivious comments, intimidating looks, catcalling and even pursuits are not uncommon.
To warn women about repeatedly problematic areas, but above all to raise awareness about sexist behavior, more than 100 women have marked harassment black spots on a map of the city. They have also shared their stories on the Free to Be website.
The initiative, which is already up and running in other cities such as Delhi and Kampala (India), Lima (Peru) and Sydney, comes at a time of vibrancy for feminist movements and protests against sexual offenses. In the wake of the "Wolf Pack" ruling, Spain is immersed in a country-wide debate about harassment and sexual assault.
Details from the story:
- In Madrid, 10% of the city's more than three million young women aged between 14 and 25 have suffered some kind of harassment on the street, according to the National Statistics Institute.
- The page Free to Be has collected the testimonies of more than 100 women about harassment and contains a map with safe and unsafe areas.
- The government has created a commission to study a toughening up of the Criminal Code in the area of sexual crimes.
- Madrid joined the United Nations Women Safe Cities program. The program seeks to analyze cities to determine unsafe points for women, and then develop policies and investment to change them.
- In the wake of the Running of the Bulls gang rape trial, Madrid has been host to weekly demonstrations against sexual assault and to protest the sentence itself, which found five men accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman guilty of the lesser charge of sexual abuse.