The following video, recently released on YouTube.com, demonstrates ways for Egyptian men to challenge sexual harassment when they witness it in the street.
To view this video on YouTube.com, click here.
Tahrir Square is home to Egyptian demands for dignity, social justice, and freedom. Yet at its hallowed grounds, amid gatherings of those seeking human rights and democracy, women’s rights have frequently and flagrantly been violated. Lest we forget, women’s rights are human rights.
Lara Logan’s case last year shined light on the violent nature of these attacks, but she was not alone. Others spoke out that they too had been victims, but did not wish to taint the uprisings nor define themselves as victims. But victims they are. At a recent protest gathering against sexual harassment, women were assaulted by a large group of men. Unless greater awareness is raised, the taboo of talking about it ended, and social consensus reached that sexual harassment is unacceptable, then the largest population of women in the Arab world remains exposed to this abuse. The above video, in which Egyptian men point out the vulgar, uncivilized nature of sexual harassment, is a welcome step toward countering this trend.
Unfortunately, to date not a single presidential candidate has spoken out against sexual harassment. They cannot continue to pretend that they will bring prosperity to Egypt while overlooking the basic rights of freedom for half their population.