THE least we should expect is that women and girls can walk down the street free from intimidation and harassment.
That’s according to Cork South West TD, Holly Cairns, who this week praised Love Island star Maura Higgins for using her platform to highlight the issue.
Maura took to social media to share a picture of a man grabbing her arm and trying to pull her towards a car in London at 3am after the National Television Awards.
‘This guy that I have never met in my life grabbed hold of my arm and tried to pull me backwards towards his car. Luckily I had two girls walk with me to my car and I would NEVER leave a venue alone at night because of this reason,’ she said.
The Longford woman said it was ‘crucial’ that street harassment is addressed and, supporting her, Deputy Cairns said she too was ‘sick’ of the problem, which she said every woman will experience at some point in their lives.
‘We know that most women experience street harassment and unwanted attention, sometimes from very young ages. It is important to speak up and highlight that is not appropriate behaviour.
‘Maura Higgins has a large platform and she used it to illustrate an incident that happens much too often,’ she said.
‘It must be called out and it must be stopped — and we need men to be allies in this fight.
‘Women have a right to safe spaces and safe streets,’ said the Social Democrats TD.
Deputy Cairns also previously called out sexist behaviour at meetings of Cork County Council in a Southern Star podcast.
She spoke about how the topic of informal conversations would often change when she might join, and switch to comments about her appearance.