Verbal harassment, physical violence and sexual harassment against girls and female students are a widespread phenomenon in public spaces in Algeria. According to police reports, 278 cases were reported in Guelma Province in 2015. Despite that the Algerian law, specifically Articles 333 (Bis 2 and 3) and 341 of the recently amended Penal Code of 30/12/2015, punishes these violences, many cases of abuse of women and girls in public places remain unreported or declared. Furthermore, many families often think that to ensure women and girls’ safety they must stay home, and as a result, many girls are deprived of participating in sport, recreational or cultural activities, or even of going to school, especially if these schools are far from home. Some families also think that this topic should not be discussed in courts, because it may affect their reputation.
The Association Information and communication among the youth of Guelma (INFO-COM Jeunes de Guelma) is leading a campaign in order to communicate on the new modified law which criminalizes verbal violence and sexual harassment in public places with the aim to encourage the victims to denounce this form of violence and to reduce sexual violence in Guelma province.
To achieve this objective, INFO-COM is implementing awareness-raising activities targeting the media, political and influential figures at local level and the heads of sport and cultural associations and educational institutions. In addition to that, an online petition against sexual harassment and verbal violence and outreach activities (distribution of flyers, sport and musical events) targeting young men and women are also organized.
The campaign was officially launched on March 11 and started with an advocacy workshop with the media which involved the Directorate of Youth and Sports (DJS in French) and Guelma Youth institutions’ office (ODEJ in French). The campaign was disseminated on Guelma’s local radio, on the national channel 2 in Amazigh language and in sports’ programme.
This campaign is part of the project CSO WINS « Capacity building in Southern Mediterranean to open policy dialogue and monitoring for women in society » funded by the European Union, in synergy with the action of the Foundation.
The campaign is coordinated by INFO-COM Jeunes de Guelma in partnership with MARCH (Lebanon) as part of a peer-to-peer learning exchange.
Press articles related to the campaign:
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.