‘Harassmap’ technology to allow women report to harassment through Twitter

Monday, October 25, 2010

LONDON - Women in Egypt who get leered at, or face other instances of sexual harassment can heave a sigh of relief.

A planned website, Harrasmap, will allow women to quickly report instances of harassment via text message or Twitter, to be loaded onto a digital map of Cairo to show hotspots and areas that might be dangerous for women to walk alone.

“The whole idea is to have user-generated information,” The Daily Express quoted Engy Ghozlan, one of the volunteer activists organising the programme, as saying.

The map could also give a graphic depiction of the extent of a problem that women say is pervasive in Egypt. Only after web videos of women being molested in the street by crowds of young men during a holiday four years ago did media begin discussing the problem.

There are numerous theories as to why harassment is so common in Cairo. Some attribute it to a growing Muslim conservatism that suggests women stay out of the public sphere, while others pin it on unemployment among the youth, leaving them bored, frustrated and unable to marry.

Organisers of Harassmap say the problem is not being overblown, effecting women whether or not they wear the conservative Muslim headscarf and reaching the point were women avoid the streets. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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