Photo Essay: Speaking Out Against Sexual Harassment

Egyptian activists and local NGOs called for a protest against sexual harassment in Cairo on Saturday June 14, 2014, following the recent mass sexual assault in Cairo’s Tahrir square. 

“I have been harassed on the streets of Egypt since I was thirteen.”
–Lydia Mounir, 22

“Harassment in Egypt is not only against women, it’s also against anybody who is handicapped. People give themselves the right to comment on anything and this is the begining of harassment. Harassment will stop by stopping to comment.”
–Lamia Gouda, 35 

“I’m a survivor of rape and I have been living here in Egypt for sixteen years. I’m hoping the laws will be harsher and stricter in regards of sexual harassment and rape.”
–Kimberly Wels, 38, from California, 

“People on the street never dare to harass me because they know I’m a police officer. Civilian women are vulnerable.”
–A female police officer who was part of the police reinforcement outside the protest. 

Mohamed, 36, a policeman refused to express his personal opinion regarding harassment for “security reasons.”

An Egyptian child holds a banner that reads “protect me mom from rape.” 

“My problem is that mothers never tell boys to avoid harassment. While they always tell girls to avoid harassment. It’s not the girls’ fault. Girls are the victims.”
–Neva, 20

Jonathan Rashad is a self-taught documentary photographer who grew up in Cairo and started his career in 2008. He has covered events in Egypt as they have unfolded over the past few years. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanRashad