HOLLA-Who? Meet Hollaback! Panama City

We’re back with our HOLLA-Who series, profiling the amazing site leaders who take on street harassment in their local communities. In the HOLLA-Who series, we learn about what street harassment is like around the world, and what activists are doing today to push back and fight for the right to equal access to public spaces.

 

Today we’re talking with the amazing Jaqueline from Hollaback! Panama City. Hollaback! Panama launched with Class 12 just this January, and have already begun making an impact in their community. Today we’re chatting with site leader Jaqueline.

 

Why did you start the Hollaback! site in Panama – & what inspired you to join on?

Hollaback means activism, it means nonconformism! Street harassment is an issue I face on a daily basis in Panama. I wasn’t born here, so often people ask me what do I like and dislike most about it here and harassment always came up as my number 1 complaint. I’ve started a Hollaback! because I want to change this reality!

 

What’s a HOLLA-fact about your city?  

Taxi rides are very cheap here. You can go many places paying from US$1.75 to US4.00. Unfortunately there are many (legal and illegal) drivers who harass their clients with disgusting looks and comments, or even assaulting or raping.

 

Say you’re the Queen for a day. What would you do to end street harassment?  

The amazing Jaqueline from Hollaback! Panama
The amazing Jaqueline from Hollaback! Panama

I’d do a huge educational campaign / workshops with people of all ages. Also I’d define better laws for all kinds of harassment.

 

What was your first experience with street harassment?  

I can’t remember precisely, but I am sure it was already very frequent when I was 12 years old.

 

Given that you’ve had years to perfect it, what’s your signature Hollaback!? 

It can be “never seen a woman before?” to “THIS IS SUCH A LACK OF EDUCATION. HAVE SOME RESPECT!“. I enjoy saying it very loud, so they get publicly ashamed – as they should.

 

We’re all about the right to define yourself. What’s your Hollaback! on-the-ground style?

Natural! Let’s be true to ourselves.

 

 

Serious question time. Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?

BE a dragon! A blue dragon that flies and spits fire.

 

 

If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?

If you don’t like your partner, your job, your city etc, CHANGE IT or LEAVE IT! Everyday you accept it as it is, is a day that you’re deciding that this is the best you can do for yourself. Own your decisions!

 

What are you excited about for 2015?

Getting a bigger team and making a Hollaback! art event in Panama.

 

What inspires you in this work?

Solidarity.

 

And finally, in the year 2020, street harassment will be…

In the year 2020, street harassment will be as despised as racist jokes currently are

 

A big thank you to Jaqueline, site leader of Hollaback! Panama City!

Holla and out!

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