Man goes undercover as a woman to investigate sexual harassment in Egypt

National Post | News

CAIRO — Waleed Hammad dressed conservatively for his secret mission into the world of sexual harassment and abuse on the streets of Cairo, donning a long tan skirt and sleeved shirt, and at times covering his head like many Egyptian women.

The 24-year-old actor walked the sidewalks, hidden cameras in tow, for an investigative television report, hoping the broadcast would enlighten national debate about how to combat deep-rooted day-to-day sexual harassment and abuse in this patriarchal society.

Initiatives to counter the problem have mushroomed in recent months. Vigilantes groups have started protecting women at gatherings, particularly at large protests or during national holidays when groping and harassment in crowds is at an all-time high. Activists have offered self-defence classes for women. Social network sites have been started where women can “name and shame” their harassers.

On the other side of the debate are conservative religious clerics and some government officials…

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