This new #WalkLikeAWoman ad campaign gives men tips on how to help women feel safer on the streets and needs to make its way to SA


A few weeks ago a good friend of mine shared with me a harrowing ordeal she went through while walking home from university one day.

While walking (and might I add minding her own business) she noticed a man walking not too far behind her. The street was largely deserted but for the two of them.

READ MORE: This smart dress experiment shows how often women are harassed at night clubs and the results are alarming

Feeling unsafe, she decided to pick up her pace but to her dismay the man behind her also started walking a lot faster too. At this point, desperate to not assume the worst but still wanting to feel secure, she crossed the road.

You guessed it.

The man also crossed the road, walking uncomfortably close to my friend who at this point already has thoughts that she might get raped, robbed, kidnapped, or physically harmed.

Then she finally succumbed to her feelings of fear and started crying. The man started laughing at her as it's clear that she's visibly shaken before walking away.

READ MORE: These 8 named men confessed how they sexually assaulted women to the New York Times - and it's incredibly powerful

Her experience is just one example of the many women go through while walking alone or even in pairs or groups in the street. Constantly looking over our shoulders to make sure we're going to survive the walk.

This is exactly why I celebrate this new Australian ad campaign called Walk Like A Woman which was launched by women's rights group called Plan International. According to 3AW693 News talk, the ad highlights the struggles of being a woman and going out about our business in the streets and even in places like the store.

READ MORE: Victim-blaming culture holds back #MeToo in Indonesia

It encourages men to put themselves in a woman's shoes and provides them with seven tips when walking in the street to help women feel safe and comfortable around them. Read the tips below.

1. Keep your distance

2. Don't run up from behind

3. Don't stare

4. Keep your comments to yourself

5. Keep your mates in line

6. Be an active bystander

7. Share the walk 

Emily Maguire, CEO at Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, told Neil Mitchell on 3AW, the tips were most important for good men, because they’re the least likely to realise they pose a threat. “Most men don’t hurt women and most men do really want to make sure that they are not a threat to other women, and that women feel safe around them,” she said.

“Even if most men know they aren’t going to do anything, that doesn’t stop women being afraid. If all you need to do is drop back a few paces, or to pretend you’re talking on your phone, or cross the road, that doesn’t sound to me like a big ask.

READ MORE: 58% of men now recognise the importance of calling out sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement

And I agree with her wholeheartedly.

While it's the saddest thing that we as women still feel so unsafe in broad daylight out in public spaces, it is reassuring to see ad campaigns such as this one, which are trying to combat a global problem. Maybe someone in SA will work on something with the same effective message for our country.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Spotify has even released a soundscape/track to drive the message home.

Watch the ad below.

What are your thoughts on the #WLAW ad campaign? Do you think it it would translate well if used in SA? Share your thoughts with us here.

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
29% - 5 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
6% - 1 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
47% - 8 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
0% - 0 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 3 votes