Top 50 Women Forum launches #Be Brave Campaign to combat sexual harassment in Egypt

Egypt’s Top 50 Women Forum launched on Monday #Be Brave Campaign designed to promote cultural change in order to end sexual harassment. The new campaign aims to empower victims of sexual assault to speak out with no shame, urging them to file complaints to relevant authorities.

The Top 50 Women Forum will hold online meetings to organize events and media messages to tackle sexual harassment specifically after recent sexual abuse allegations spread across the social media from multiple Egyptian girls and women over the harassment and rape incidents. Presently, the Public Prosecutor is investigating the incidents circulated online.

The forum believes in the importance of women standing by their rights and championing one of the most compelling social problems, not out of prejudice, but for empowering victims to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault.

#Be Brave campaign is launched in collaboration with The Top 50 Women Forum members and an expanded network of women to increase emphasis on responding to the needs of victims and survivors of sexual assault.

On her part, Dina Abdel Fattah, chairperson of Top 50 Women Forum, said: “The forum will spare no effort to fight sexual misconduct in collaboration with many leading governmental and private institutions, to directly reach out to victims, disclose incidents and prosecute sex offenders.”

“Sexual harassment is a persistent problem for women. Unfortunately, cases of sexual abuse against women and girls in Egypt continue to rise. ‘#Be Brave’ campaign aims at eradicating sexual misconduct in the long term, by nurturing collaborative efforts and gathering educational, Religious, legal, and other relevant entities under with a unified purpose,” Abdel Fattah added.

Abdel Fattah further noted that the forum aims to break social barriers, empower Egyptian women, and develop their capabilities to reach full potential in achieving sustainable livelihoods.

She also urged concerned authorities to deal with this issue firmly and quickly, noting that undertaking appropriate and timely actions in response to sexual assault allegations are the stepping stones towards the realization of the campaign goal.

In 2014, Egypt increased the penalty for sexual harassment to reach imprisonment for a period of six months that reach up to one year if it recurs or a financial fine ranges between five thousand to twenty thousand pounds. On the other hand, the penalty for rape reaches life imprisonment or death in some cases if the victim is less than 18 years old.

Abdel Fattah demanded to increase the punishment of the molesters through urgent legislative amendments in the Egyptian parliament to deter every person who entrusts himself with such practices.

The Top 50 Women Forum acts as a growing network of Egypt’s most influential women in business, committed to a holistic approach of empowering women and strengthening their decision-making power and participation in the country’s reform processes. The forum launched Egypt’s first-ever Top 50 Most Influential Women grand ceremony in 2016, under the auspices of Egyptian Prime Minister, to elect 50 leading women in business, who made the most significant contributions to the Egyptian economy. The ceremony is held every year to highlight and recognize Egyptian women and their success stories. Top 50 Women Forum members include prominent and influential female ministers, executives, and entrepreneurs across the Financial, Banking, Investment, Trade, Tourism, Technology, and Media sectors.