New Egyptian Facebook Page Created to Expose Sexual HarassersNadine Marroushi
A new Facebook page has been created to expose sexual harassers in Egypt by calling on women to post photos of men caught in the act. Its the latest effort by campaigners to end gender-based violence and intimidation.
The Arabic-language page, called “Embarrass a Harasser, The Public Record of Harassers,” was set up five days ago by a group of girls in Egypt and has attracted more than 9,000 followers so far. “Can’t hit him? Can’t catch him? Photograph and expose him!” reads the page’s description.
One photo, uploaded on March 15, shows a young man on a subway car. He’s sitting in a female only-carriage and annoying women with his stares, according to the caption. In another image, an older man grabs the buttocks of a veiled woman. The caption says its a misconception that clothing has anything to do with a woman becoming a victim of harassment or not.
Women have long complained of daily sexual harassment in Egypt. In the two years since the 2011 revolution ousted Hosni Mubarak, the issue has come under the spotlight, with victims defying cultural norms to speak out publicly about attacks and activists increasingly using new media to get out their message.
The “anti-harassment movement” Facebook page was set up in August 2012 and has more than 32,000 followers. It says it’s aiming to have sexual harassment made a criminal offense. The government-backed National Council for Women began drafting a law after at least 29 women were assaulted by a mob on Jan. 25.
Harassmap, a website that charts country-wide incidents from catcalls to ogling, stalking and rape, was set up in 2010.
A study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights in 2008 said that 62 percent of men surveyed admitted to sexually harassing women and 53 percent said women bring such offenses on themselves.