How may we design a language to back up women from street harassment in Kuwait?
Women are the victims of street harassment regardless of their race, color, religion, and outer appearance. This problem has serious consequences on women’s mental and physical health include injuries, depression, anxiety, fear, trauma, suicide, eating disorder and etc. Men are raised by having the idea of taking control over their sisters or wives and having support from the culture and society in Kuwait as well. Therefore, men have the most power over women in Kuwait. Additionally, the government of Kuwait has a stake as well in this matter. They are encouraging men’s crimes by not punishing men who harass women even if he killed his mother, sister, or wife because of honor, he will only go to jail for 3 years or/and pay a short penalty. The cultural system allows men to get power while restricting women. This power led men to harass women in Kuwait knowing that they are protected by society and law, while women will be in trouble with her family. If she addresses that she was harassed, her family will blame her because of her clothes, going out a lot or being late, going to specific places like malls and etc. Therefore, women in Kuwait prefer to be silent rather than dealing with their families and that causes a lot of mental and physical issues.
In this project, I have changed my direction from gender inequality to street harassment in Kuwait, however, it is still related to feminism. Gender inequality is a very broad topic and I needed to narrow down my thesis. I started mind-mapping and thought about street harassment in Kuwait. Before I moved to Vancouver, street harassment have increased in Kuwait and that started during COVID-19. During this time, it is hard for women to reach for help.
In response to COVID-19 and the difficulty for women to reach for help when they are in harassment situations. I thought about a red paper wristband or any other material that could be worn as a bracelet as my outcome. The idea behind it is to back up women from harassment streets by simply showing it to anyone around to help them during harassment situations. That could be while driving, in the street, or in any public place. In support of that, I designed a journal mapping and a protest poster to form social consciousness.