Egypt activists launch online campaign to end sexual violence
Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in Egypt, although there are many women in the work force and women were active in February's revolution.
Social networking sites and blogs were flooded with hundreds of messages Monday as activists in Egypt launched a campaign to end sexual harassment.
Several weeks back, activists had called for a day to "End Sexual Harassment" and urged people to use Twitter, Facebook and blogs to speak out against the widespread problem in Egypt and suggest ways to combat it.
"A woman's protection is not her responsibility alone, but the responsibility of all the women around her and the men who want to prove they are against harassment," activist Lobna Darwish wrote in Arabic on Twitter.
Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in Egypt, although there are many women in the work force and women were equal participants in the weeks of protests that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Men and women posted messages in Arabic and English - some called for a march against harassment, others for pressure on the government to pass strict legislation against sexual harassment.
Many were keener to see action take place on the ground, rather than online.
"I don't think my harassers are on Twitter nor Facebook either! I want to do something towards ending sexual harassment on the streets," Sarah Naguib wrote on Twitter.
A few messages calling for women to wear the veil, dress conservatively, or stay at home in order to avoid harassment were quickly rebutted.
"Tell that to my veiled wife who was almost kidnapped by a taxi driver," Amr Khairy wrote on Twitter in response to a post saying that the veil "protects women from harassment."
People also discussed the need for reform within the police and security forces.
Members of the security forces, who have a poor reputation of being corrupt and abusing detainees, have been accused of sexually harassing women in the past.