On Wednesday, the “I Hope…” (Nefsi) anti-sexual harassment campaign organized a human chain along a road and participants held up signs with anti-harassment messaging. In the photo on the right, the posters read from left to right: “Harassment degrades the male (harasser) before it degrades the female;” “I wish I could ride a bike without anyone bothering me;” and, “I wish you would respect me as I respect you.”
Right now, about 30 activists are wrapping up another protest on Tahrir Square.
The Safe Tahrir For Women Facebook Event page reads:
“On Friday 6th July, we’re asking everyone, men and women, to meet at Midan Talaat Harb at 1.30pm, ready to go to Tahrir to set up a safe place where women can join the protests in safety, and independent journalists can document our revolution.
We want strong people to act as guards to protect women from thugs who have been abusing them in the square. We want to catch these criminals who are destroying the reputation of the revolution, expose and shame them, and bring them to justice.
We want to say, “Enough, No!” to the terrible assaults against women which have been happening in Tahrir. We believe them to have been carried out by state-sponsored paid thugs: let’s catch them, and prove that the people of Tahrir are amongst the noblest in the world…
We want to set up a Safe Point in the square where women can join the revolutionary protest, and set up escorts to take women safely in and out of the square to the Safe Point. We want to spray paint and handcuff any thug who touches a woman, so he can be exposed and shamed for behaving like a dog. We’re asking every political group and each individual, as a human being: please help.”
On Twitter, people are posting photos and videos about the action and right now, it sounds like the male protectors out number the female protesters….but is it any wonder when the last protest against sexual harassment on Tahrir Square ended with the women being groped and chased away?!
I am traveling to Egypt for the first time next week. Many concerned family members and friends have been emailing me articles about the assaults and harassment against women, urging me to “be careful.”
It makes me angry that just because I’m female, just because every other woman in Egypt is female, we have to be careful. And it makes me angry that even if we are “careful,” that won’t ensure complete protection from groping, harassment and even assault. We must continue to live our lives; we shouldn’t be cloistered away.
I’m glad that activists are persistent with their outcry and action and I look forward to joining their actions next week.Share on Facebook