HarassMap: Challenging the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt with data


HarassMap was born as a response to the persistent problem of sexual harassment on the streets of Egypt, to which society had become increasingly tolerant.

Beginning in 2010, the map capitalized on the fact that about 97% Egyptians then – half of whom were women – owned a mobile phone. Using Frontline SMS and Ushahidi, victims could send reports anonymously that would then be linked into a mapping system exhibiting whereabouts and details of harassment incidents.


Image: HarassMap.

Each report appears on the map as a red dot. When you click on the dot, the full text of the report is displayed. Looking at the map gives a broad overview of sexual harassment, and the individual reports show the reality and scope of sexual harassment and assault in Egypt. Each report receives a response with information on how to access free legal services and psychological counseling.

The impact

This year HarassMap marks its five year anniversary and, as the following video illustrates, it has had a marked impact on the discourse around sexual violence in Egypt.

Visit HarassMap here.