A woman walking home alone through dark streets being stared at, cat-called, and even harassed can be frightening and dangerous. It sounds like the beginning of a horror film, but is actually the reality for many Egyptian women.
UN Women’s Egypt office recently produced a dramatic PSA that asks men to put themselves in women’s shoes instead of blaming her for being a victim.
The video, shot from various women’s perspectives, demonstrates specific types of harassment she experiences on a daily basis. It shows how subtle and how cruel people can be and the impact this has on women such as anger and fear.
The examples of harassment coincide with findings in a 2009 study commissioned by the U.S. National Council for Women, which surveyed 2,320 women in Cairo.
The results show that 94 percent of unmarried women and 72.4 percent of married women had been verbally sexually harassed. About 22 percent for both married and unmarried women said they were physically harassed.
It’s these statistics that motivated the city of Cairo to join UN Women’s 2010 initiative called “Safe Cities: Free from Violence against Women and Girls.” The PSA was produced under this project.