Giving Compass' Take:

• Gina Martin, an English activist, is attempting to make the practice of upskirting (taking photos underneath women's skirts) illegal. And she is using social media campaigns and messaging to do it.  

• Martin believes that social media provides a space for activism and social change to those who are dedicated to a cause. Where else do we see young people utilizing social media to activate change? 

• Read about how some college presidents are using social media to boost social justice. 

Gina Martin is a creative, fashion blogger, avid traveler, occasional drummer — and just so happens to be fighting to change British law at the same time. She’s the young activist who has made “upskirting” — the increasingly prevalent practice of taking a photo underneath somebody’s skirt — illegal in England and Wales.

It all started in 2017.

“I went to British Summertime with my sister,” Martin, 27, tells Global Citizen. “It was about 30℃, and we dressed up — we couldn’t afford to go a festival so it was all we could go to that year.”

It was a beautiful day in Hyde Park, she said. But while Martin and her sister waited for The Killers to come on stage, two men started hitting on them. Martin politely asked them to leave her alone. But they refused to stop being pushy.

“About five minutes later one of them was standing in front of me on his phone,” she says. “I saw over his shoulder a picture on Whatsapp taken right between a girl’s legs of her crotch, up her skirt. I knew it was me straight away.”

“I snatched the phone off him and held it up in the air,” she says. “We got into a scuffle… then two people in the crowd pushed him away and told me to run, so I ran off with the phone in the crowd to get security and call the police.”

But her attempts to hand the culprit to the authorities fell flat.

It sparked months and months campaigning: the experience provoked Martin to kickstart a national movement urging the government to #StopSkirtingTheIssue and make upskirting a specific criminal offence.

And thanks to a year of early starts and gritty legwork — Martin woke up at 4 a.m. every day to work on the campaign before starting her full time job as a copywriter — it’s caught a tidal wave of political momentum. It was then backed by Theresa May, and flew through the House of Commons as an official government bill.

Read the full article about upskirting at Global Citizen.