VIDEO: Independent musicians take on sexual harassment

Ahram Online, Tuesday 12 Aug 2014

Two songs released individually this week by Abo and Zap Tharwat with Menna Hussein tackle Egypt's sexual harassment crisis

Sara Abo
Still from 'I won't blame the harasser'

This week, two songs by young Egyptian musicians were released on Youtube on the topic of sexual harassment against women.

Popular rapper Zap Tharwat, acompanied by singer Menna Hussein, released 'Who is Responsible', while acoustic musician Abo released 'I won't blame the harasser'.

'Who is responsible' tells the story of women's harassment on public transport while others turn a blind eye. The video is directed by Karim Shaaban and the project is supported by UN Women and Axeer Studio.

The very next day on 11 August, El-Gomhoreya TV released a video for 'I won't blame the harasser' by Abo in which he stressed that he will not blame the harasser for this epidemic but rather the society. The video follows actress and activist Sarra Abdelrahman as she takes out her anger on a projection of mob harassment in Tahrir and TV anchors denouncing the victims of the atack.

Independent artists of various diciplines have been tackling the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt for some years now.

Sexual harassment has been an issue varying from verbal harassment on the streets to gang rape in public gatherings such as holidays, football matches and protests.

A report on sexual harassment released by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights in 2008 states that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women experience some form of harassment on a daily basis.

Recently, following massive assults on women following President El-Sisi's inauguration in Tahrir, the Egyptian government passed a law battling sexual harassment - a move women's groups have been calling for for quite some time.

On 7 August, a Cairo court found three men guilty of sexual assault during celebrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square after the official announcement of former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as the new president in June -- the latest verdict in a series of sexual violence cases during public rallies in the iconic square.

In July, the court gave nine men jail sentences varying from 20 years to life in prison on the same charges.


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