CAIRO: Three activists Sarah Arafat, Mai Abdo, and Nagua Shams el-Din decided to establish the “Enti Aqwa” (You’re Stronger) campaign to face the increasing phenomena of sexual harassment in Egypt and to break the silence surrounding the issue.
The campaign was launched in Cairo and Beheira on March 16 after its success in Alexandria in December.
“We wanted a different approach to face sexual harassment. We want to empower women and give them strength to confront this issue,” founder and media spokesperson Arafat told The Cairo Post in a phone interview Wednesday.
She said the campaign is divided into three sections, first into physical exercise for self-defense, second is psychological support, and the third based on legal measures.
Arafat said there are more than a hundred different physical techniques in Enti Aqwa aiming to increase self-defense abilities in women to confront and avoid sexual harassment.
The psychological support is categorized into group and single sessions, based on the request of women who seek the support of the campaign.
The legal help is provided by a group of lawyers to help women in legal pursuits in sexual harassment cases.
“The campaign also organizes women lectures to raise awareness about different forms of sexual harassment and how women can confront them,” Arafat said.
Arafat said the campaign also aims to shed light on the issue of sexual harassment, which was ignored for a long time by the society and increased due to lack of security in the past few years in Egypt.
The entire team campaign volunteer to provide different kinds of help for sexual harassment victims because the campaign has a low budget and cannot afford paying a complete permanent staff.
Arafat said dozens of women seek their help from the campaign and the number increases daily.
Enti Aqwa will organize its first self defense training in the headquarters of the National Council for Women (NCW) in Beheira on March 20 at 11:00 a.m., and the first training in Cairo will be on March 28 and 29.
The sixth self defense training in Alexandria will take place on March 21 and 22. All training sessions by trainer Essam Shaaban are free.
Ministry of Justice launched a workshop in Ain Sukhna three days ago about the importance of imposing a law to fight sexual harassment.
The workshop also aims to examine current laws concerned abuse against women and how to face violence against women in general.
In April 2013, The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women released a report stating that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have faced some form of sexual harassment.