Global Research

Street harassment measured in 22 countries
Monday, June 8, 2015

Puberty is when most women are first harassed on the street, according to an international Hollaback! study led by Assistant Professor Beth Livingston.

Findings from 22 countries showed that:

  • More than half of survey respondents have been groped or fondled by street harassers.
  • Seventy-nine percent of Canadian women report being followed by a man or a group of men.
  • Ninety-five percent of Argentinian respondents were groped before age 17.
  • Forty-seven percent of respondents in India said men had exposed themselves to them and 80 percent of respondents in India said they are unwilling to go out at night due to harassment.
  • Eighty percent of German respondents said they take different routes in an effort to avert harassment.
  • More than 80 percent of transgender respondents reported being harassed due to their gender identity.

Livingston said, “What was most striking about these findings was how similarly many women across the world reported experiencing street harassment, suggesting that this is not an “East” issue or a “West” issue, or a “white” issue or a “brown” issue -- it’s a gender issue, and gender transcends culture in many ways."

More than 16,600 women responded to the 2014 survey, sponsored by the non-profit Hollaback! organization.

Maria Grillo MILR ’15 and Rebecca Paluch M.S./Ph.D. ’18 helped conduct the survey, and KC Wagner helped form the ILR-Hollaback! partnership as part of her Equity at Work Initiative role in the Worker Institute.

For country-specific reports, including how harassment impacts women emotionally and behaviorally, see:

Argentina

Australia

Bahamas

Belgium

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Canada

Columbia

Croatia

France

Czech Republic

Germany

India

Ireland

Italy

Korea (South)

Mexico

Nepal

New Zealand

Poland

South Africa

United Kingdom

United States