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IMG 9039 e1717676450732 Fairspace

Fairspace was born in the Netherlands, but was shaped by lived experiences both within and far beyond our borders.

Laura found herself facing the unwelcome presence of street harassment during her travels abroad. From Italy to Jordan, the unpleasant catcalls and intrusive stares became an all too familiar part of her daily life. Laura refused to accept this as just another urban reality. She recognized it for what it truly was: a form of violence against women, a hindrance to freedom, and a stain on society’s conscience. Something had to be done. 

Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, Eve’s story unfolded against a backdrop of her own experiences in the Netherlands, Egypt and beyond. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and a woman navigating her cultural identity, Eve’s experiences with harassment transcended geographic and cultural boundaries. After talking to many other folks who had also been harassed because of their gender, sexuality, race or culture, Eve launched Hollaback! Nederland, a platform for people to share their experiences, support one another and de-normalise street harassment. 

In 2017, Laura and Eve joined forces, two people united by a shared mission: to challenge the status quo and pave the way for a safer, more inclusive world. 

But their journey had only just begun.

Hollaback! Nederland evolved into Fairspace,as Laura and Eve saw an opportunity to broaden their impact. Beyond raising awareness, they focused on education, co-creation and policy change as the pillars of their movement. With passion and purpose, they embarked on a mission to dismantle the systems of oppression perpetuating harassment and discrimination.

The #MeToo movement served as a rallying cry, sparking a global conversation about accountability and empowerment. For Laura and Eve, it was a turning point—a chance to amplify their voices and shine more of a light on harassment and its normalisation within Dutch society. Media platforms became their platforms as they seized every opportunity to challenge the status quo and demand change.

Over the years, Fairspace continued to grow, reaching beyond the streets of Rotterdam and Amsterdam to more than 20 cities throughout the country. From forging partnerships with industry leaders to pioneering innovative approaches to community engagement, Laura and Eve’s vision of a world where everyone feels safe, included and respected moved one step closer to becoming a reality. 

Looking ahead, Laura and Eve remain committed to this vision and to continuing to grow Fairspace, their team and their invaluable partnerships. Through a healthy dose of courage, compassion, and conviction, Laura and Eve will continue to push towards tipping the needle and paving the way forward to safer spaces for all.

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