Last week I wrote about the upcoming Anti-Harassment Day in Egypt on April 18. After the 18, I could only find one article in English about the event (which called it a “fiasco”), so I wrote to Asser Yasser, the woman who was the lead organizer, to find out how it went. She graciously sent me a quick e-mail about it and thanked me for my interest in their efforts. From Asser:
“It was a great day, I print[ed] many posters (about 50) … about 80 persons shared [participated in] the event with me. There was a huge number of media tv channels, news newspapers, magazines and satalight channels too.
Every one in Egypt [is] talking about that day now. One of the young men asked a girl in his neighborhood to forgive him about harassing her once before and he promised that he will protect any girl later.
The place was full of the policemen but they were really helpful that makes us feel safe and secure.
We asked [that] we shouldn’t [have to] prove the [sexual] harassment because it’s too hard to prove, the guy should prove that he didn’t do it, not us. We wanted to tell every man that it is a crime and we are all against that behavior. We wanted to tell the women everything about their rights.”
I’m glad she feels they’re being successful in raising awareness around this problem. With the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights survey last year showing 83 percent of Egyptian women experienced public sexual harassment (and almost half said that was daily harassment), it’s certainly an issue the country needs to address. (& of course, many other countries do too, like the US!)