'Egypt's Messi' Launches Campaign to Defeat Violence Against Women

'I understand that men and women have the same rights and responsibilities,' Liverpool soccer player Mohamed Salah says in tweet

Screenshot from the 'Because I'm a Man' video campaign
Screenshot from Twitter

Egyptian soccer star Mohamed Salah last week tweeted a video launching a campaign entitled "Because I'm a Man," advocating for an end to violence against women and to improving women and girls' status in Egyptian society.

The Liverpool star, dubbed, "Egypt's Messi," tweeted the video shortly before International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, celebrated around the world on Sunday.

The video, aimed at promoting women's equality and empowerment, says men must help end violence against women. The man in the video is a father who encourages his daughter to play sports, supports his wife's career, helps his sister pursue higher education, and doesn't shy away from housework. Near the end of the video the voice over says, "because I'm a chivalrous man, I stood up to violence against women."

In recent years, Egypt has worked to address statistics showing that 99 percent of that country's women experience sexual harassment by taking steps such as a law that punishes offenders with up to five years in prison.

In his tweet, Salah wrote, "Because I'm a man, I understand that men and women have the same rights and responsibilities. I decided to support the National Women's Council and the UN Women's Agency's 'Because I'm a Man' campaign. Share this video to join me in supporting the campaign."

A similar campaign launched in Tunisia.

The campaign elicited some negative responses, including telling Salah to stick to soccer instead of women's rights. Replies on twitter included quotes from Muslim sources referring to men's legal guardianship over women. Others made sarcastic comments like, "because I'm a man I won't let my wife or daughter walk in the street wearing makeup or with her hair down."