Engineer develops anti-harassment app to combat sexual molestation in Egypt
According to UN figures in 2013, 99 percent of Egyptian women are victims of harassment while 50% are physically harassed on a daily basis while on public transportation.
The laws passed by the authority to confront the phenomenon have not deterred molesters. Meanwhile, many cases go unreported because girls are often afraid of reporting molestation out of their concern over their reputation.
Egyptian Engineer Abdel Fattah al-Sharqawi decided to contribute to combating molestation and developed an anti-harassment app named StreetPal.
Sharqawi told Al-Arabiya.net that the app helps women take the required measures against a molester as it provides legal advice and helps create a trained and aware society.
The app speaks to the user and guides her through every step. Among the features are the option to send a short text and e-mail to a trusted person to report harassment or reassure she is safe. There is also a map that leads women to the nearest police station, if she wants to press charges, or to the nearest hospital, in case medical care is needed.
The app also allows audio recording so the details of the incident are recorded, in case they are later needed, and provides psychological support and a library with information about sexual harassment.
Sharqawi said the services are all available for free on smartphones that are connected to the internet, adding that the app makes profit through ads.
He added that any girl who has an Android phone can download the app.
StreetPal has been released a month ago and is now being used by more than 200 girls.