HarassMap: Using Crowdsourced Data to Map Sexual Harrasment in Egypt

The first data presented to us in this reading is shocking enough as 99.3% of women in Egypt report being sexually harassed and 49.2% report that this harassment occurs on a daily basis. The problem is that they feel ashamed and scared therefore they don’t report it. It should be out there, people should know what’s happening and there should be a big change.

However there has been a first movement called HarassMap created by Rebecca Chiao and which in my opinion is very effective as it is an easy way to make people aware in a visual and more eye-catching manner. This has happened as it initiated being run by volunteers and then in 2012 it received a 2-year grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre. It is a crowdsourcing-based advocacy, prevention and response tool for all the harassment that is happening in Egypt.

HarassMap collects the information for a posterior use throughout the society on offline mobilizations to try and make people aware and more conscious that accepting this type of behavior isn’t the right one. I will mention again that this idea is a very positive one for the problem we are facing as being unable to tell the World or even someone that you know will help that problems you are facing such as sexual harassment is denigrating and unacceptable, that’s why HarassMap allows the victims to anonymously report their sexual harassment stories.

Women in Egypt are seen as inferior and sexual harassment only makes this situation worse as it has a negative impact on the way they act and participate in the public sphere. They are coerced to act in certain ways, avoid eye contact, and basically be repressed in their own country every time they walk down the street or even worse, every time of the day no matter where they are. This new tool will benefit in many levels; personal, community, national and global as it will, in some way or another, create awareness throughout the population.

I don’t think one application will make a change, but surely it will open the eyes of the population and more awareness will appear. Hopefully with this increase in awareness the number of application as well will increase. Many people don’t see what’s happening so they just prefer not to think about it but this affects everyone even if you haven’t been through it.

HarassMap: Using Crowdsourced Data to Map Sexual Harrasment in Egypt

2 thoughts on “HarassMap: Using Crowdsourced Data to Map Sexual Harrasment in Egypt

  1. gabmaria93 says:

    Great blog post, Maria! I like how you began the post by illustrating the harsh statistics, that 99.3% of women are harassed and almost half of them report it happening every day. This is really important to know because it really shows the severity of the problem in Egypt. Your overall analysis of Harassmap was clear and concise.

    Like

  2. ipalacio23 says:

    I totally agree with you! I also think that one application won’t solve every problem, but it’s a great way to spark conversation and serve as a digital tool for women who are unable to speak out to others about their sexual harassment encounters. It’s a shame that the police doesn’t know how to handle these issues so Harassmaps is a great alternative that helps these women cope with their experiences. Women are unfortunately seen as inferior in this country, even as the guest speaker said, they are seen as second class citizens. I hope that Harassmaps does make a big impact and provide women equality as well as educate the public about the negative impact of sexual harassment.

    Like

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