On a day celebrating the Philippine’s freedom from colonial rule, 65 high school students painted pictures on roads by Quezon City Hall to call for another kind of freedom—for women and girls to go about public spaces without fear of sexual harassment.
The Quezon City Local Government held the Street Art Painting Project on 17 June, Independence Day, in partnership with UN Women Safe Cities Metro Manila Program. In bright, bold colors, the student artists painted the roads from the entrance to the main building of Quezon City Hall with words and images depicting the problem of harassment and calls for everyone to help build safe public spaces. “Stop Violence against Women,” was among the painted appeals.
“We are painting this road because we want women to be empowered not only in the Philippines but all over the world,” said Jade L. Lusterio, 15, student from Flora A. Ylagan High School.
Sexual harassment is a serious problem in the Philippines. According to the UN Women Safe Cities Metro Manila Program baseline study published in 2016, in Quezon City, three in five women have been sexually harassed at least once in their lifetime. Quezon City, part of Metro Manila, is the country’s largest city with over 3 million people and the pilot city of the UN Women program.
Read the full story on UN Women's regional website for Asia and the Pacific.