You are here

UNFPA, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Egyptian kickboxing Federation concluded a series of workshops titled “No to Harassment,” that aimed to arm over 1000 young women from 27 governorates with self-defense skills.

The initiative targeted women aged 18-35 and included 5-day training workshops, after which participants will receive certificates.

Certificates were distributed at the closing ceremony, acknowledging participants’ and trainers’ efforts. Participants also relayed the reasons behind their participation in the initiative and what they learned from it.

Shaimaa Adel, 24, who participated in the governorate of Gharbeya, said that she was inspired by a video she watched online about a girl who was able to defend herself against sexual harassment using kickboxing techniques.

“I learned how to defend myself using simple techniques,” she explained.

19-year-old Mariam Gamal from Cairo said she has always been interested in initiatives that aim to combat sexual harassment.

She explained that because sexual harassment is so prevalent, she needed to learn how to defend herself or any girl in a similar situation.

“Girls can be subjected to harassment on the street or in public transportation, I needed to learn how to defend myself,” she explained, “I even taught my sister what I learned at the workshop.”

The nationwide initiative is part of events to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, starting November 25 and until December 10.

UNFPA continues to prioritize the needs of women and girls, as part of its overall effort to achieve the three transformative results; ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

On June 4, 2014, a new law was passed which criminalizes sexual harassment for the first time in modern Egyptian history. According to the law, verbal, physical, behavioral, phone and online sexual harassment attract a prison sentence of 6 months – 5 years, and up to LE 50,000 in fines.