19% of the women who run in Barcelona have been victims of harassment


  • 94% of runners say that before going out for a run they plan their route or the time slot for safety reasons

  • The lack of lighting and the streets without people, the main elements that women avoid when they go jogging

  • Montjuïc is the place that generates more vulnerability, while Diagonal or Gran Via, due to the concurrence of people, create more comfort

In the early 1980s, the few who went running were targeted all kinds of teasing. The former president of a Catalan sports federation remembers that they called him “fagot” for wearing tights. And Felicitat Caldentey, who used to run with her husband Miquel Pucurull, was yelled at on more than one occasion to go back to the kitchen. Four decades later, go jogging it is a common practice. It could be said that it is even fashionable since people realized that there is no better gym than the city itself. But the cheap and coarse insult that was only looking for laughter has gone to harassment, and from harassment it has gone to insecurity. According to a study of RACC and the company of insurance Zurichbased on 1,000 interviews and more than 10,000 observations, 19% of the women runners from Barcelona They claim to have been subjected to intimidation while playing sports outdoors. In Madrid things are worse: they are 25%.

The night and poor lighting They bring out the worst of each house. And also the best, because it is the moment, since life does not give more of itself, in which many people go out to practice sports. 70% of the women consulted, in fact, affirm difficulties to reconcile sports with work and family care. 56% of the bullying situations They occur in the twilight of the day. If something has the runner is that he is an animal of habit. He usually repeats routes, because he knows the unevennessthe traffic lightsthe length and the time it will take to go there and back.

The planning and fear They go hand in hand when it comes to running: 94% of women, always according to the survey presented this Thursday, take personal safety measures, such as avoid poorly lit roads and solitary, try to run in a group or choose strips in which there are more people on the street. Things that may seem like common sense but actually exhibit the sad urban reality of being a woman: crossing the portal of the house already supposes expose yourself to the unknown, go out to work, go to university or play sports.

awkward loneliness

Something that men, as much as 9% of runners say they have also suffered harassment, cannot even imagine. Perhaps the figure that best reflects the gender difference is the percentage of women and men who go running in company: 19% men and 41% women. It may be because they prefer to take advantage of these moments to catch up with a friend, but a lot will have to do with the discomfort of jogging alone.

The RACC and Zurich study has analyzed seven places in the Catalan capital where it is common to find people running. The safest place, due to its concurrence, due to the cars on both sides, is the Diagonal. And then, for the same reasons, the Grand Via. Another song is the effect of pollution what goes into those lungs at full capacity. At the other extreme, because it is lonely, because it lacks light, is the Montjuïc mountain, one of those enclaves still to be exploited in the city. But there is also vulnerability in the Paral lel, Ciutadella or on the seafront. or in Collserolawhere 75% of women do not feel safe.

All these situations can lead to abandonment of outdoor sports, since 19% of women (and 10% of men) have considered giving up running in the street so as not to always have to go with that feeling that something bad is going to happen. One remedy, says the RACC, could be the applications with which to search for other people who they share a passion for ‘running’. Only three out of ten athletes know of the existence of these ‘apps’.

Nor do 30% of those interviewed know what traffic regulations apply to them. It is the pedestrian one, so no jogging on the bike lane or on the road. Regarding coexistence with means of transport, the personal mobility vehicles they are the most marked in the negative. But it may have a logical explanation, since in places like Diagonal, the lane continues on top of the pavement above Plaça de Francesc Macià.

their opinion

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The study recommends the city council diversify activities more and better so that the city does not have lifeless areas at certain times of the day, and urges to identify and intervene in degraded areas or abandoned that can increase this feeling of insecurity. One possible solution to all of this, according to the report, would be to “encourage incorporation of women in decision-making and in the drafting of urban planning documents”.

In short, it turns out that women can not go running when they feel like it and where they feel like it. So lazy for wear sneakers in winter they add fear and a feeling of insecurity. 26% of those surveyed did not run before the pandemic. Wins are not lacking, but the data shows that not even doing sports are we the same.


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