HarassMap

Interesting…

A hi-tech weapon has been unveiled in the battle against sexual harassment in Egypt, where almost half the female population face unwanted attention from men every day.

HarassMap, a private venture that is set to launch later this year, allows women to instantly report incidents of sexual harassment by sending a text message to a centralised computer. Victims will immediately receive a reply offering support and practical advice, and the reports will be used to build up a detailed and publicly available map of harassment hotspots.

The project utilises an open-source mapping technology more commonly associated with humanitarian relief operations, and the activists behind it hope to transform social attitudes to the harassment of women and shame authorities into taking greater action to combat the problem…

Contrary to popular opinion, incidents do not appear to be linked to the woman’s style of dress, with three-quarters of victims having been veiled at the time. But efforts to curb the problem have met with resistance.

Although a number of draft laws dealing with sexual harassment are under consideration by parliament, there is still nothing on Egypt’s statute books that specifically prohibits harassment – blame for which is often placed on the victim rather than male perpetrators.

(Thanks, Mr Jender!)

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