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Political News, Running against harassment

Political News

Running against harassment

01/07/2013 – www.emgegconsulting.com

By Nancy Porsia. 
 
Some two hundred runners yesterday set out on a mini-marathon to highlight the enduring challenge of the sexual harassment of women. 
 
Participants, 30 percent of whom were women, ran the five and a half-kilometre race at the Busitta horserace track. 
 
The competition, organized by the Tripoli Fitness Community (TFC) and sponsored by Nawasi Association for Goodness, was the second such race held to raise awareness of what is seen as a disturbing issue. 
 
“The marathon is aimed at increasing awareness about the harassment of the women in the country, and to call for justice,” one of the organisers, Moha Bensofia, told the Libya Herald. 
 
The race, which started at 7 pm, consisted of three laps around the horse track, totaling 5.5 kilometres. Runners were aged between 15 and 50 and some mothers ran alongside their daughters. 
 
Mohamed Al Osta was first across the finishing line, completing the race in just 14 minutes and 30 seconds. The first woman to finish, in 20 minutes, was Arwa Kaddur. 
 
Al Osta told the Libya Herald that harassment against women was a heinous social problem in Libya. In his view, it could take at least 15 years for attitudes and behaviour to change. 
 
Still out of breath from the race, Arwa Kaddur said that sports have kept her fit since she moved to Tripoli two years ago. She even boxes at a private gym, along with other TFC members. 
 
Bensofia, a keen sportsman who runs a health food business, founded TFC in 2012 to share fitness tips. As the TFC Facebook group grew, members, both male and female, started to train together in private gyms in Tripoli. 
 
TFC now has almost 3,500 members and organised its first marathon in December last year. 
 
“When I returned during the revolution I found a lack of interaction between women and men in Libyan society,” Bensofia said, “I strongly believe that sports is a good way to encourage mutual physical respect between the two genders.” 
 

 

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