GUC Computer Science graduates Salma Shaaban and Ahmed Rihan used their skills to develop 'Matkhafeesh' ('Don’t Be Scared'), an app that can help victims of sexual harassment and abuse in Egypt by providing them with the resources they need.
Earlier this year, Egypt witnessed a mass social media movement encouraging women to speak up and take legal action against sexual harassment. Inspired by such activism, GUC Computer Science graduates, Salma Shaaban and Ahmed Rihan, used their skills to develop 'Matkhafeesh' ('Don’t Be Scared'), an app that can help victims of sexual harassment and abuse by providing them with the resources they need.
The 'Matkhafeesh' app helps users find legal, psychological and societal support in Egypt, and hosts a special map where users can mark the exact location in which they faced harassment. This lets other women know which areas are unsafe, and contributes to data collection by governmental and non-governmental entities to propel them to organise self-defense and awareness initiatives.
The psychological support feature -currently under development - connects sexual harassment survivors with experienced therapists, whether for one-on-one or group sessions. These therapists were all chosen with the consultation of a well-established clinical psychiatrist. The app will also offer legal resources by connecting survivors to lawyers who have previously won sexual harassment cases at special rates, with some offering legal consultations free-of-charge.
'Matkhafeesh' will soon introduce a societal support feature which allows users to input the contact information of four people they trust. Should they encounter a dangerous situation, the user can use a shortcut on their phone that will notify them and send them their exact location.
“We hope the platform raises awareness on the extent of sexual harassment issue,” Salma Shaaban tells #CairoScene. "And that it will make strides in normalising mental health support.”
“We also hope the app encourages survivors to take legal action against their harassers,” adds Ahmed Rihan. “So that people can be more aware of their legal rights.”
‘Matkhafeesh’ is currently available on Google Play, and will soon be available on the App Store.