During the past months and especially during the past couple of days, social media has proven that it has an important role in the community. Social media lately has been a strong arm in fighting against sexual harassment.
In fact, we could see a little bit of change due to people’s opinions on social media regarding this vital topic.
Let’s have a look at how people are using social media to fight this ugly behavior.
How Is Started
Did you know that in 2013, The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality reported that around 99.3% of women in Egypt face some form of sexual violence?
Women in our community have been suffering from sexual harassment almost all of their lives but unfortunately, they barely talk about it. Until a specific moment when some girls started writing posts about how they are always exposed to this act, they all started to speak.
From this moment, many girls took social media to express their anger. Social media somehow became a refuge for those who suffer from sexual harassment. It was a place to raise awareness regarding this behavior.
As much as some girls were actually being victim shaming, we could see that many people have supported them.
A Serious Stand Against Sexual Harassment
Not so long ago, people started creating pages to expose those who harass women. These pages became a form of sanctuary for women to tell their stories. This was the moment where everyone realized that women are truly suffering.
For example, the famous Instagram account “Assault Police” is one of those who helped expose what is truly happening to women.
The account started by exposing men who sexually harass and sexually abuse women, and we could see governmental action was taken regarding these criminals. Later on, the account started to raise awareness regarding many related topics. For example, the account started to raise awareness about marital rape, sexual blackmail, and child sexual abuse. And many women were sharing their stories regarding these topics.
Here lies the role of Instagram as a social media platform that raised people’s awareness regarding topics that no one dared to discuss. And because of this account, many people started doing initiatives and the government started to pay attention.
Due to this wave of awareness and girls speaking up, an application to fight sexual harassment was launched. Both Salma Medhat and Ahmed Rehan have worked on an application to help fight against sexual harassment.
The application is providing social, psychological, and legal support to the victims. It has many important features such as:
1- A call for help so the victim can call trusted contact to help her.
2- A legal support where she can choose a lawyer among many others who are willing to help.
3- Psychological Support, which allows her to contact trusted resources to help her overcome her trauma.
4- A Map of Harassment, which tells a girl all the information about the place she’s heading to regarding harassment.
How Social Media Affected CIFF
Also, one of the roles that social media had done is canceling a movie conference.
Once again, social media had played the refuge role, where many girls took it to tell their stories regarding sexual harassment.
During the Cairo International Film Festival, many girls have expressed their anger towards a certain person whose movie was about to be played. These girls took social media platforms to tell their stories and accused this person of rape and sexual harassment.
CIFF has responded to this movement and canceled the movie conference.
So again, social media was the one to deliver these girls’ voices and call out for help.
As much as we all know that social media has a dangerous and dark side; we can’t deny its help in changing the community. If you were to look deeper, you would find that social media helped this community by raising awareness regarding many vital topics.