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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Safe World Field Partner in Kenya - Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is based in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Field Partner News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

19-year-old SRHR college peer educators talk Feminisms

In most parts of our society, the word “Feminism” still remains a bitter pill for so many people to swallow, however, to Wfac’s college SRHR Peer educators, the ‘F’ word is about change, empowerment of all and transforming lives.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…
Narges

Narges Mohammadi - Women Human Rights Defenders Are Heroes, Not Criminals

On September 28th 2016 an Iranian appeals court upheld a 16-year sentence for 44 year old Narges Mohammadi, a prominent human rights defender. Mrs. Mohammadi is a key member of the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran, a lawyer by training,…

Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic' | Photo: APEgypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic' | Photo: AP

Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic'

Source: BBC |  Bethany Bell

Campaigners in Egypt say the problem of sexual harassment is reaching epidemic proportions, with a rise in such incidents over the past three months.

For many Egyptian women, sexual harassment - which sometimes turns into violent mob-style attacks - is a daily fact of life.

Last winter, an Egyptian woman was assaulted by a crowd of men in the city of Alexandria.

In video footage of the incident, posted on the internet, she is hauled over men's shoulders and dragged along the ground, her screams barely audible over the shouts of the mob.

It is hard to tell who is attacking her and who is trying to help.

The case was one of the most extreme - but surveys say many Egyptian women face some form of sexual harassment every day.

Marwa, not her real name, says she worries about being groped or verbally harassed whenever she goes downtown. She says it makes her afraid.

"This is something that scares me, as a girl. When I want to go out, walking the street and someone harasses or annoys me, it makes me afraid.

"This stops me from going out. I try to be excessively cautious in the way I dress so I avoid wearing things that attract people."

'Deeply rooted'

The day I met Marwa, she was wearing a long headscarf pinned like a wimple under her chin, and a loose flowing dress with long sleeves over baggy trousers.

But dressing conservatively is no longer a protection, according to Dina Farid of the campaign group Egypt's Girls are a Red Line.

She says even women who wear the full-face veil - the niqab - are being targeted.

"It does not make a difference at all. Most of Egyptian ladies are veiled [with a headscarf] and most of them have experienced sexual harassment.

"Statistics say that most of the women or girls who have been sexually harassed have been veiled or completely covered up with the niqab."

In 2008, a study by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights found that more than 80% of Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment, and that the majority of the victims were those who wore Islamic headscarves.

Said Sadek, a sociologist from the American University in Cairo, says that the problem is deeply rooted in Egyptian society: a mixture of what he calls increasing Islamic conservatism, on the rise since the late 1960s, and old patriarchal attitudes.

"Religious fundamentalism arose, and they began to target women. They want women to go back to the home and not work.

"Male patriarchal culture does not accept that women are higher than men, because some women had education and got to work, and some men lagged behind and so one way to equalise status is to shock women and force a sexual situation on them anywhere.

"It is not the culture of the Pharaohs; it is the culture of the Bedouins," Mr Sadek says.

Mr Sadek and women's campaign groups also blame what they call the lack of security enforcement. They say the police should do more to enforce laws protecting women from harassment.

'Provocative dress'

And the harassers are getting younger and younger.

On the Qasr al-Nil bridge in central Cairo, a hotspot for harassment, I met a group of teenage boys hanging out near street stalls blaring loud music.

When I asked them about a recent case of mass harassment in which women at a park were groped by a gang of boys, they told me the girls brought it on themselves.

"If the girls were dressed respectably, no-one would touch them," one of them said. "It's the way girls dress that makes guys come on to them. The girls came wanting it - even women in niqab."

One of his friends told me the boys were not to blame, and that there was a difference between women who wore loose niqabs and tight ones.

A woman who wore a tight niqab was up for it, he added.

But attitudes like these horrify many Egyptian men - like Hamdy, a human rights activist.

"I really feel very upset myself because I think about my family, my sisters and my mother," he said.

"Before Eid [the festival at the end of Ramadan], I was downtown and I had my sisters with me. It gets very crowded and I had my eyes everywhere, looking around and I shouted at a pedlar who got in their way. In our religion this is something that is not allowed."

The new government says it is taking the problem seriously - although many campaigners argue it is not a priority yet.

For women - like Nancy, who lives in central Cairo - it is a question of freedom.

"I want to walk safely and like a human being. Nobody should touch or harass me - that's it."

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