The Huffington Post | By Alanna Vagianos
“Every day she faces humiliation, anger, she lives in fear and she experiences violence… put yourself in her shoes, instead of finding ways to blame her.” In one minute this PSA takes you inside the verbal, physical and sexual harassment many Egyptian women face every day.
Created by United Nations Women, the PSA illustrates a first-person perspective of the sexual harassment Egyptian women experience when doing everyday things, such as hailing cabs, sitting on buses and simply walking down the street. While sexual harassment is not a new issue, it has become international conversation since 2011 when protests in Tahrir Square quickly turned violent when mobs of men began sexually assaulting some of the female protestors.
In a recent study, Egypt was found to be the worst Arab state for women to live, and the U.N. reported that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women and girls have been subjected to sexual harassment at some point in their lives.
“When we try to complain, even to friends or family but especially to authorities, they say we are to blame because of the way we dress, the way we act, where we were walking,” May Iskander, a student at Cairo University and passionate women’s rights activist, told Buzzfeed earlier this week. “And you can be a full women in a full niqab [headscarf] and still be harassed. Whoever doesn’t know this doesn’t live in Egypt.”
Of course sexual harassment is not something that only occurs in Egypt. Evidenced by projects like Everyday Sexism and Hollaback! (based in the UK and U.S., respectively), women around the world experience subtle and not-so-subtle forms of harassment every day. We’re just glad to see the U.N. get people talking about it, both in Egypt and elsewhere.