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Egypt: 82% of women are harassed on public transport

Egyptian women hold placards during a demonstration protesting violence against women in Egypt on 22 December 2015 [Amr Sayed/Apaimages]
Egyptian women hold placards during a demonstration protesting violence against women in Egypt on 22 December 2015 [Amr Sayed/Apaimages]

Egyptian women are verbally and physically harassed on a daily basis while on public transport, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported.

“Almost every woman in Egypt has been sexually harassed,” the newspaper quoted a study by the United Nations (UN) saying.

In 2013, Egypt ranked the highest in sexual harassment against women, followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, the report noted, quoting a study by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

#Harassment

The German newspaper explained that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is prevalent amongst the less educated Egyptians, is one of the main types of abuse.

“Sexual harassment against women in Egypt is carried out by all men from all social levels and religious backgrounds,” the newspaper stressed.

According to a UN study, 99.3 per cent of Egyptian women are being sexually assaulted and harassed. It also showed that some 82 per cent of Egyptian women are regularly harassed on public transport

Read: 39% of women sexually abused by relatives in Egypt

In early 2015, Egypt declared that anyone charged with harassment would receive a six-month jail term.

Men who have been left unable to get married due to the poor economic conditions throughout the country are the main perpetrators.

“Social media is another platform for sexual harassment in Egypt,” the paper said, adding that “Egyptian girls receive social media messages asking to have sex with them.”

Many in Egypt believe that the way women dress is fuelling the phenomenon referring to ladies who do not wear a hijab as having “liberal ideas”. Others believe the “absence of an Islamic measures-based law to criminalise this phenomenon” has led to it increasing.

Read: ‘Mother of the Martyr’ Egyptian sculpture highlights sexual harassment

'Mother of the Martyr' sculpture [File photo]

‘Mother of the Martyr’ sculpture [File photo]

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