Have you ever felt sexually intimidated, walking around town? For women in Egypt, this is common practice as more than 99% of the women in Egypt have been sexually harassed, according to a UN research. The video below shows what is is like for a girl to walk down the busiest bridge over the Nile. The images are shot from a hidden camera.
Both the video and the numbers of the United Nations research don’t lie: sexual harassment is a serious problem in this North African country. In the summer of 2014 there seemed to be hope for Egyptian women as the president approved a law that criminalises sexual harassment. This is however just a small step towards the full disappearing of sexual harassment as many men do not care about these rules and women still do not feel safe. It often happens that the victims are blamed, rather than the harassers. NB: Three days after the law was approved, a video of a women at the Tahrir square went viral. She was naked and full of injuries and dragged around the square after being sexually assaulted during the inauguration celebrations of the new president.
Our vlogger Caitlyn experiences sexual harassment as well. She is born and raised in the United States but moved to Cairo in June 2013. During her study Arabic and International Relations, Caitlyn got interested in the Middle-East and moved to Egypt to learn the Arabic language and culture.
Next to her work as an English-Arabic translator she writes for several websites like Egyptian Streets and she recently posted an article on bizarre phrases used to harass women. That article originates from Caitlyn’s own blog Team Maha.
On the blog she shares phrases or quotes with a short explanation or lesson below. Sometimes she aims at helping others with her language insights and sometimes Caitlyn just writes to deal with things that happened, like men yelling at her on the streets of Cairo. In this video, Caitlyn calls out to both women and men to stand up against sexual harassment.