EMERGE Case Study 8

Mobilizing Against Sexual Harassment in Public Space in Egypt: From Blaming “open cans of tuna” to “the harasser is a criminal”.

Published on 21 October 2015

In the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, young men and women led highly innovative initiatives to counter increased levels of sexual harassment in Egypt’s public spaces. This study examines what has happened to these initiatives four years after their emergence and whether men have continued to be engaged in the struggle against gender based violence against the backdrop of a changed political environment. An appreciative inquiry approach was taken to examine the present initiatives that continue to be active in the struggle against sexual harassment in Egypt. Two initiatives, Harassmap and Imprint (Bassma) were selected in order to examine what accounts for their survival, what difference the involvement of men has made to their sustained activism, and the kind of adaptations they have pursued in order to be effective in countering sexual violence in public spaces. The specific questions broached in this study include (1) Under what conditions have men’s involvement in initiatives on gender based violence been sustained? (2) How have men transformed the nature of the struggle against gender based violence and been transformed by it? (3) What societal change have we witnessed on the ground as a consequence of men’s engagement in gender based violence initiatives?

Publication details

Tadros, Mariz