Sexual harassment and assault against women remain rife in all realms of Egyptian society -- from the family to state institutions. In addition, since victims – both those dressed in hijabs and those without --are continually blamed for "provoking” attacks, the shame felt by victims prevents them from reporting attacks.
Victims can also be belittled – or in the worse cases, sexually abused – by police themselves.
A new report titled "Egypt: Keeping Women Out – Sexual violence in the public sphere,” documenting the sexual violence that took place between November 2012 and January 2014, in which women protesters were sexually assaulted and in some cases raped by mobs of men, also looks beyond the immediate problem.
"The link between pervasive violence and the structural discrimination against women enshrined in Egypt’s laws cannot be ignored. Addressing violence against women requires political will to bring about wide-ranging reforms to the justice system as well as to the status of women in law and practice,” said Farah Barqawi, co-founder of the Uprising of Women in the Arab world. (continue reading...)