The main endeavor by the institute in May is the #SHE initiative “Stop Harassment Egypt”. This is an initiative in cooperation with the National Council for Women, the ‘I saw harassment’ initiative, HARASSmap, Go Bike and others. Sexual harassment is a global phenomenon that all societies are facing. Together with its partners the institute decided to dedicate 10 days to fighting sexual harassments by organizing a number of different activities with a diverse audience. The first event in Cairo was a biking event around Zamalek where 500 bikers took to the street showing that the streets are for all and should be safe of everyone.
More men need to be involved in ending sexual harassment if we want to achieve results on the ground. The work with youth and in particular young men, is a focus throughout the campaign week. The “Role of Men to Combat Sexual Violence” has been addressed in a workshop for two days in Alexandria where the efforts between the government, civil society and religious leaders have been the focus of the discussions. This is an approach that the Lebanese NGO ABAAD has much experience in and a representative shared their work and insights during the workshop.
During the #SHE initiative the institute is also organizing two days of ‘Dardasha’ in Alexandria where youth will discuss and develop methodologies and activities to fight sexual harassment in their local communities. One of the workshop leaders in Walaa el Hawary, a young female writer and biker from Cairo who changed the attitudes in her local community about a young women going by bike. The last day of the #SHE initiative, bikers in Alexandria will take to the streets in a manifestation against sexual harassment.
For the institute May will end with an activity in Tunisia in cooperation with the Ahmed Tlili Foundation, “Spreading a culture of democracy”. The workshop brings together researchers from the Arab world to present experiences of domestic democratic traditions in a historical context.