Based in Cairo, Egypt, the volunteer-based initiative HarassMap seeks to end the social acceptability of sexual harassment in the country.
Its most striking tool is the crowdsourced online digital map of the same name, which reports on harassment and assault all over Egypt. Contributors are anonymous, and every instance in the map is accompanied by a detailed report that can be consulted with one single click. The online map itself combines the use of two tools of Kenyan origin, FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi: the latter provided the mapping platform, while the texting service FrontlineSMS became the perfect way to report updates to the map, given that at the time of launch 97% of Egyptians – half of whom are women – owned a mobile phone. Constantly updated to this day, the reports on the map are a clear, powerful tool for the organization; its volunteers use the map’s data in their field-based work, workshops and communications campaigns, actively breaking the silence around the topic and effectively changing perceptions and attitudes towards sexual harassment.