Reclaiming Safe Access to Public Space: Youth Resistance to Street Harassment in Chile.
In response, and in an attempt to denaturalize patriarchal conventionalities of space and gender, a group of young Chilean sociologists created the “Observatory against Street Harassment” (Observatorio Contra el Acoso Callejero) in 2013. Among its activities, it drew up and presented the project: "Street Respect Law" to the Chilean Congress in 2015, in order to engage the Government in reflecting on public safety policies and to criminalize and punish street sexual harassment as a form of violence. Due to its success in Chile, youth-led movements have created their own Observatories in Uruguay, Nicaragua, Colombia and Bolivia, contributing to youth advocacy on gender equality in Latin America.
Hence, this paper employs Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a theoretical-methodological tool for shedding light on street harassment in Chile, as a means of control based on restrictive discursive construction of gendered public spaces. This document also seeks to underscore how the possibilities of youth empowerment and resistance to unequal power relationships can influence policy and contribute to the process of reclaiming safe access to public spaces, ultimately achieving a real impact for gender equality.