HarassMap: Using Social Media to Fight Sexual Harassment in Egypt

"The Circle of Hell" by Salma El Tarzi, depicting mob sexual harassment and rape (source).

This post was written by guest contributor Yasmeen Nizamy.“Sexual harassment is a crime that's inexcusable!” This is the title of the campaign that HarassMap started recently, coinciding with the launch of their annual report on the latest statistics and analyses on sexual harassment in Egypt (the report is not yet available online, but I was able to get a copy from the founder of the initiative).  HarassMap is an initiative that started in Egypt in 2010 with the mission of ending the social … [Read more...]

More about Sexual Harassment in Egypt

Amr Hamzawy's tweet.

It is no secret that sexual harassment is a very dangerous phenomenon in Egypt streets. What is striking is that it is getting worse, not better. I have been suffering from street sexual harassment for years, and wrote 2 years ago that I no longer had any tolerance for it. I described how I would attack men in cars with rocks if they had stopped to harass me.Earlier last year, the day it was announced that Mubarak had stepped down, Tahrir Square was so crowded with people celebrating, and in … [Read more...]

Using Islamic Identity Against Victims of Sexual Violence

As right-wing pundits are gaining momentum in North America, minority groups are unsurprisingly being targeted.  Among the questions being raised is: when does “national security” trump the need to address an instance of sexual assault against women? Muslim women, especially those who wear the hijab or niqab, experience a unique sense of vulnerability in the post-911 world.  Two cases come to mind when pondering the parallels between the state’s fixation on curbing terrorism and the frustration t … [Read more...]

678: A Film to Appreciate

Egypt, like the rest of the Middle East, has been suffering for a long time from street harassment. Naturally, different Egyptian intellects have been trying to emphasize the problem and highlight what can be the start of solving it. Mohamed Diab, a young Egyptian writer, wrote and directed the movie “678,” which focuses on this very dangerous phenomenon. You can see a trailer (in Arabic) here.“678” is the story of three very different Egyptian women who all experience street harassment. Seba ( … [Read more...]

Salwa Says, “Speak Up!”

When Doha had to jump out of her cab three times after being assaulted by the drivers in broad daylight, she knew she had to do something about it. So she has joined a growing number of women in Lebanon who speak out against sexual harassment.A local non-government organization, IndyACT, supported a national campaign against sexual harassment called, “The adventures of Salwa.” Salwa is a fictional character in a series of television ads aimed at fighting sexual harassment:A television ad fe … [Read more...]

Is Harassment Hilarious? Nile Comedy TV Thinks so

There's a new government-sponsored comedy channel in Egypt, Nile Comedy TV, which has created a humorous series of "non-commercial breaks." One memorable example that made me laugh went like this: Buy the Chinese sheep! It weighs 12 kg when alive, and 55 kg after being slaughtered. It's fed on a diet of chips, so you can control the taste of the sheep by controlling the types of chips it eats. It comes in three colors: green, red and blue! It has two hearts, two livers, two stomachs and it has … [Read more...]

The Emirates Fights Sexism by Exploiting Class-Based Oppression

Fatemeh already pointed out the obviousness of the title in last week's Friday Links, but Hamida Ghafour's article "Lewd stares distressing for women," published in the U.A.E.'s The National newspaper, is worth a closer look.  Although it seems to promote resistance to sexism and sexual harassment, it does so in a way that perpetuates - even strengthens - discrimination based on class and race.For example, take these two paragraphs, towards the beginning of the article: Western women are … [Read more...]


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