Launch of the Not On My Bus Campaign
In January 2018, Oxfam (OISL) and partners rallied together to brainstorm on a purposeful campaign which would end violence directed towards women and girls. Based on an increasing number of local reports, it was decided that sexual harassment against women and girls in public transport was a rising issue. Under the guidance and support of Oxfam's global ENOUGH campaign (to end violence against women and girls), OISL and partners have been working towards a public campaign which calls for bystander intervention as a solution against sexual harassment of women and girls.
The campaign was carried out with the support of forum partners Chrysalis GTE, MenEngage Alliance, The Asia Foundation, IYAP, CENWOR and Stand Up Movement Lanka.
Last week, the official launch of the NOT ON MY BUS campaign was held at Water's Edge. The event saw the participation of key ministerial representatives from the transport sector, government representatives, activists, partners, female commuters and guests who have supported the #NotOnMyBus #CreateAScene social media campaign.
Several key activities and discussions which took place, have been documented below.
Hon. Min of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arjuna Ranatunga, was the Chief Guest for the evening. He is seen here signing the online pledge to "Be A Better Bystander."
You can take the pledge here too! --> https://bit.ly/2CSsru3
The keynote speech was delivered by Mrs. Gayani de Alwis, Chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics. She spoke on simple human decency and how as civilians we need to rise up to ensure that decent behaviour becomes a norm that helps prevent the continuation of harassment.
Pictured here are members of the audience, including the Country Director of Oxfam in Sri Lanka.
A panel discussion was held to highlight practical solutions towards harassment experienced in public transport as well as prevailing issues arround reporting harassment. The conversation followed the psychological aspect of bystander intervention, shared real-life stories in relation to harassment and also explored the legal angles that both support and surpress reporting procedures.
Pictured here are panelists Nivendra Uduman, V. Weerasingham and Sajeewani Abeykoon, moderated by Sharanya Sekaram.
A question and answer session ensued, with the audience members sharing their trials and triumps with regard to harassment faced in public transport.
The audience was also entertained by an educational and thought-provoking theatrical performance, presented by the talented cast of Idea Couch. The dramatists portrayed the reality of harassment in public transport through both a male and female lens.