Recently two members of the SMRT boler team attended a talk hosted at Munk School of Global Affairs titled “Harassmap: Social Mapping Sexual Harassment and Violence in Egypt.” The presenter, Rebecca T. Chiao, is Co-Founder and Director of HarassMap. Combining community activism with mobile and internet technology, Harassmap is a volunteer initiative that strives to end the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt.
In addition to her spot on The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti, and George Stroumboulopolous Tonight, Rebecca spoke about the tool they have developed, the impacts, and their vision.
Some of the key highlights of the talk included:
- Introduction to the Harassmap website – http://harassmap.org/ – the tool is accessible for everyone here to add/view reports
- Harassmap is an instance of Ushahidi, a crisis mapping platform used around the world to gather and aggregate citizen reports with maps. Examples include: Eleccion Ciudadana, an initiative in used to plot suspicious activity around the recent Venezuelan election; Uchaguzi – used to track election violence related to the present Kenyan election
- The initiative provides the opportunity for both men and women to report any instances of harassment they may have experienced or witnessed
- Reports are geo-tagged and plotted on a map of the region for global viewing. Number of reports for a region are depicted by a red circle stating the number of reports received.
- Hovering over a report allows the public to view the details of the report
- Reports are validated by hand through Harassmap prior to public post
- Awareness raising is the result of this ongoing expression online and communities are starting to create “harassment free zones”
- Until recently Harassmap has been strictly volunteer based. At present they have just received funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and have started to hire staff in country and at headquarters to progress the initiative
- With hired staff they plan on developing reporting mechanisms that will allow them to better measure their impact
It was an excellent talk to an audience full of hope and enthusiasm. Thanks Rebecca for the inspiration.
To see the full broadcast of her talk, click the following URL:
Jennie Phillips | @drchangelove