Young activist fights to criminalize catcalling in Germany


The murder of Sarah Everard in London has sparked fresh debate about harassment and assaults against women. In Germany, one young woman is campaigning for the introduction of a “catcall law.” “Hey, blondie!” “Babe, come over here!” — many men still think this sort of lewd comment, along with wolfwhistles and obscene gestures, is a compliment. For women it’s outright harassment. Catcalling — sexually suggestive and inappropriate remarks directed at women by strangers — occurs both in public and on the Internet. All the time. But in Germany, it goes unpunished. Antonia Quell, a 20-year-old student and activist from Fulda, in Hessen, is campaigning to get a law introduced that will help put a stop to it. In August, she launched an online petition addressed to the Justice Ministry and the federal government. Nearly 70,000 people have signed it.

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