With the rising issue of sexual harassment in Egypt, four women –Rebecca Chiao (Project Leader), Engy Ghozlan, Amel Fahmy (Principal investigator of Research Unit) and Sawsan Gad- decided to take some action in 2010 by creating a mobile and online technology non-profit interactive mapping, HarassMap, to try to reduce the social tolerability of sexual harassment in the country.
The aim of HarassMap is to not only raise awareness about sexual harassment, but also to encourage people to create a society that doesn’t tolerate any type of unconsented sexual talk or touching. Hence, building a community where safety from sexual based violence is guaranteed.
The whole idea behind how it works is very simple. When someone is a victim of or witnesses someone(s) getting sexually harassed, they fill an online report or send the report via SMS, e-mail, Twitter or Facebook including the details of the incident as well as address, street name and public points of interest.
Then, HarassMap verifies the reports and places them on a Google map of Egypt, which localizes sexual harassment spots by placing red dots where incidences of sexual harassment have taken place.
HarassMap has made a difference since it was launched with the help of good Samaritans and Uber partnering in founding it. However, there is still a long way to go in order to develop a safe enough environment for people of all genders -yes everyone regardless of their gender can get sexually harassed- to walk in the streets without the fear of being groped or hearing inappropriate things. So if you are reading this, try your best to aid in creating that safe space for you as well as others.