Egyptian women have been using a number of hashtags — among them #Idon’tFeelSafeOnTheStreet, #AntiHarassment and #ExposeHarasser — on social networking sites to speak up about the daily sexual harassment they experience. These campaigns are part of an effort to expose harassers and break the silence surrounding their crimes, which are haunting women in Egypt. Women have tweeted myriad incidents along with advocating the courage to expose and confront harassers.
Nancy Atieh, 20, published a post on Facebook Jan. 12 in an attempt to expose a man in his 50s who regularly takes the bus from a station downtown, during which time he molests females. She took and posted a picture of him to warn her colleagues who transit the same station. "Photographing harassers and exposing them is the best way to confront them,” she wrote.
Haitham Tabi, an Egyptian journalist, called on women to tweet their concerns using the hashtag #Idon’tFeelSafeOnTheStreet, after a number of reports he wrote on the public harassment of women. “Let people know that your concerns about walking on the streets are real and not exaggerated,” he told Al-Monitor of his encouragement to women. Tabi also said, “Calling on girls to talk about their suffering was a way to challenge those who are in denial about widespread sexual harassment.”
He said people should be careful since the situation has degenerated, stressing, “Women are greatly threatened in Egypt.” Tabi emphasized the need for the state to protect women and make them feel safe. “The state, which is fighting terrorism, has to protect girls on the streets,” he said.