HarrassMap’s, located in Cairo, has a goal to put an end to the harassment and assault of women in Egypt. Changing attitudes are needed to spark an end to the violence. HarrassMap wants to get people involved so that they do not just stand by and let the violence happen, they aim to denormalize this harassment. “Take it, share it and let’s start a global conversation to end violence against girls”. I found this group consisting of 12 women extremely interesting. The campaign was launched with self-funding to target bystanders and witnesses of this harassment. Their audience is the general public, which in my opinion is an extremely difficult audience to reach out to and attract attention. Luckily the group is getting help from funders such as the Global Fund For Human Rights, but I cannot imagine how difficult it was when the group initially launched their campaign. Encouraging everyone to create a movement that fights against sexual harassment and violence is an extremely difficult task, especilaly in a place like Cairo, Egypt. I can assume that half of the population (most men) do not care for this movement as it is not affecting them or day to day lives. I can also assume that women who have not experience sexual harassment and abuse do not have the mind set to actively support the women who have been harmed. I wish that we lived in a world where we could ask our neighbors to be watchful guardians and speak up when there is anything suspicious going on, but we do not. I think HarassMap’s goal is excellent, but it a bit unrealistic. Out of fear, many people probably do not want to speak up about the harassers actions against their victims. I do believe that in order for Egypt to put an end to this problem the government needs to become involved to create an atmosphere where harassers face consequences (jail time, social consequences) when they harm women. I am amazed that the country has tolerated this type of abuse, and has not built safe areas for people of all genders. Harassment and sexual abuse is clearly an issue that has been under established and forgotten. I do hope that this organization has made progress with their campaign.
Posted onMarch 6, 2017