I’ve participated in the ‘Man Up’ campaign in the capacity of brainstorming, performing in disruptive theatre in buses and the forum theatre skits at schools, carrying out interviews and the making of a short awareness video.
Being a journalist and having written about the harassment of women in buses prior to the campaign, I feel Reach Out has been meticulous and thorough with its research. We collected qualitative research in dynamic ways, and from it I learnt more about the psyche of Sri Lankan society in regard to street harassment. I found the campaign to be quite empowering and having experienced such harassment myself, I am now prepared to stand up for myself when faced with such undesirable situations.
Knowing how to react, though, is not enough. It was necessary to impart the knowledge we had gained to the public. Reach Out worked towards bringing a wave of social change by educating youngsters about how street harassment is not acceptable and teaching victims as well as witnesses to react appropriately in the given situation. Going by the feedback we received by the students and having seen their enthusiasm towards bringing an end to street harassment after conducting the skits, I believe Reach Out has managed to open the minds of students in the schools we visited. Hopefully, they will in turn pass on what they’ve learnt to their peers and relatives, and widen the reach of the Man Up campaign.