The SpeakUp Dialog Series is held in partnership with several institutions and prominent influencers to participate in the national conversation on sexual
harassment. AUC formed an Advisory Board of distinguished leaders to help shape the topics, speakers, sequence and direction of the series.
The board members are Maya Morsy ’95, president of Egypt’s National Council for Women; Hisham El-Khazindar ’96, co-founder and managing director of Qalaa Holdings and AUC trustee; Christine Arab, UN Women Egypt country representative; Hoda Elsadda, professor of English and comparative literature at
Cairo University; Rabab El Mahdi ’96, ’98, associate professor and chair of AUC’s Department of Political Science; Nadeen Ashraf, AUC student and founder of @assaultpolice; and Omar Samra ’00, adventurer, entrepreneur and motivational speaker.
“The Dialog Series is an occasion to educate the AUC community and general public about the various issues and challenges linked to sexual harassment: the
magnitude of the problem; the social, cultural as well as legal constraints that deter women from reporting incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace and in public spaces; and the stigma surrounding sexual harassment and how to address it,” says Elsadda.
For Arab, a behavior shift is required. “Laws need to be enforced,” she says. “That means institutions like AUC have to enforce these with rigor, impartiality and
penalty. There has to be justice. That’s when behavior starts to change.”
Emphasizing the moral aspect, El-Khazindar notes, “At the end of the day, no community, no country advances if half of its society, which are women, is not empowered and is subject to secondary treatment. For me, this is not an issue of man and woman but an issue of what is right and wrong.”