We knew gender-based violence in public spaces existed but we didn’t know where exactly it occurred.

How could we draw attention to the safety of women and girls in public spaces without revealing any personal information but at the same time in an interactive way?


Fireflies light the dark when they feel unsafe.
They communicate with and protect one another with their blinking lights. Inspired by fireflies, we wanted to light the streets, parks, areas where women felt unsafe.


The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. To kick off the campaign this year, UN Women Turkey launched a national campaign named “Light the Dark” to draw attention to the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

The “Light the Dark” campaign aims to end violence against women in public spaces and contribute to creating safer cities and violence free public spaces. The inspiration of the campaign is fireflies, which communicate with and protect one another with their blinking lights. The campaign calls for action by all citizens, local authorities and public institutions, to make cities and public spaces safe, healthy, inclusive and secure environments for everyone to live and participate in urban life without fear of violence and intimidation. Using fireflies that light the dark as its logo, the campaign invites everyone to visit the website and mark those spaces where they feel unsafe. The participants can also share their personal experiences by leaving comments.


  • 14.546 fireflies were pinned on the interactive map of Turkey. The city marked with the most fireflies was Istanbul with 2.732. It was followed by Manisa with 1.019, Ankara with 950 and İzmir with 773 fireflies. These provinces were followed by Sakarya, Bursa, Antalya, Kocaeli and Malatya. In these provinces, women’s main concerns and complaints were insufficient lighting, verbal and physical harassment, and unsafe streets and public areas. The province with the least number of firefly pins was Artvin.
  • Light the Dark campaign has reached around 3.8 million people with 50 news published in newspapers and also reached around 10 million people with 373 news published online.
  • In addition, with paid media plan, 24.5 million ads were viewed, over 9 million videos were watched, and 36.000 advertisement interactions were achieved. Campaign reached a total of over 12 million unique users.
  • Some local authorities such as Istanbul Besiktas Municipality, used the data made available by the Light the Dark campaign to improve the insufficient lighting in neighbourhoods where fireflies were pinned.
  • The starting point of the campaign which is the goal of expanding awareness about violence in public spaces and gender equality was achieved by acting together.

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