Mariam Saleh


Violence against women - particularly sexual harassment is a widespread problem faced by women around the world. In Egypt, research shows that a large number of women have been harassed at least once in their lifetime. The Egyptian Government, international organizations and non-governmental organizations have been working for several years on interventions and activities to combat sexual harassment. With the widespread use of online and social media in Egypt, this new media became a better and easily accessible form of conveying combating sexual harassment messages. This study, thus, aims to identify ways through which online and social media could be used through development communication campaigns to combat sexual harassment in Egypt. The study is based on a theoretical framework built on the Social Ecological Model, and seeks to identify how online and social media could be utilized along its five levels to combat harassment through social change, social mobilization, and advocacy. The study uses the single exploratory case study of HarassMap - an Egyptian NGO working on combating sexual harassment through online and social media. Theoretical propositions were developed for each of the five levels, and based on a content analysis of HarassMap's website and Facebook Page, the theoretical propositions were verified and modified. Findings of the study show that online and social media could be used through functional participatory communication campaigns, following a social change and social mobilization approach to: (1) encourage sexual harassment survivors to respond to harassment through changing beliefs, increasing self-efficacy, and changing behavior through social prompting; (2) encourage bystander intervention through changing beliefs, increasing bystander-efficacy, and changing behavior through social prompting; (3) change the society's attitudes and beliefs as related to assignment of responsibility and attribution of sexual harassment and increase the society's collective-efficacy to fight acceptability of harassment; (4) advocate for organizational change to have sexual harassment-free workplaces/educational institutions through targeting the organization and its surrounding environment; and (5) advocate for more stringent sexual harassment law/law enforcement.


Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Graduation Date


Submission Date

April 2018

First Advisor

Amin, Hussein

Committee Member 1

Allam, Rasha

Committee Member 2

El Kadi, Tara


163 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I cannot begin this acknowledgement by anything but thanking Dr. Hussein Amin for being the most understanding and supportive advisor anyone could wish for. Thank you for advising this thesis, and giving me the chance to learn from your great knowledge. I’m also forever grateful for offering me words of consoling, listening to my personal problems and telling me your own personal stories just to show me that I’m not alone. I also would like to thank the following people whom I’ve been blessed with during working on this thesis: Dr. Rasha Allam and Dr. Tara El Kadi for accepting to be my readers on such a short notice. Thank you also for your very valuable comments and advice which helped me add more value to the thesis. The JRMC faculty and staff for making this Master’s program not only an excellent learning experience to me, but also an enjoyable one. Finally, I must thank the team behind HarassMap – whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting during the writing of this thesis – for their amazing and innovative work to fight sexual harassment – a problem all Egyptian women suffer from. As an Egyptian woman, your work gives me hope in a better future and safer Egypt for us all.