Focus on: María José Guerrero, President of the Observatory Against Street Harassment

January 2, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

"Run from ColungaHUB delivers a work tool that increases productivity"

We spoke with María José Guerrero, who told us how she came to lead this organization against harassment, based on her interest in the issue of gender violence and her experience in ColungaHUB. 

How did you get to civil society?

At the beginning of 2014, living in Viña del Mar and about to become a sociologist, I defined myself as a feminist and studied inequalities between men and women from different areas. It is at that time I joined a civil society organization for the first time: the Observatory Against Street Harassment (OCAC)

I learned about the existence of the OCAC by the newspaper, in a story that ridiculed a group of women who were beginning to organize to say enough to this type of sexual violence. The OCAC had been in existence for 5 months when I joined them, and for three years I traveled every week from Viña to Santiago to attend team meetings and activities, until the militancy won and I came to live in this city. In these years I have been a volunteer, Director of Studies and currently President of the organization.

What is the organization currently working on?

Currently, OCAC works with different expressions of sexual harassment in public and private spaces, focusing its actions on educational establishments, work spaces, street and online. 
In this way, it seeks to contribute to the eradication of these expressions of sexual violence from educational, political and legal actions at the national level, understanding them from their continuity and the same matrix: gender violence.

What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge of OCAC is to be able to broaden its scope of problematization and education throughout our national territory. Understanding sexual violence in each of the local contexts, their meanings and discourses is a task that we hope to fulfill, recognizing our own territorial knowledge, without paternalism.

OCAC Graphics

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

The experience at ColungaHUB has been very good, for which we are very grateful. We arrived with great enthusiasm to be able to contribute to a collaborative and synergy work, action that we have been able to carry out since our first week in the HUB, postulating a project together with another organization.
In addition, operating from ColungaHUB has greatly facilitated the internal work of the OCAC, since, as it is composed mostly of volunteer professionals, concentrating the meetings in a comfortable, equipped and central place, provides a work tool that increases productivity.

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