- Middle East/North Africa
Cairo Security Directorate said in a statement Saturday that it recorded 87 verbal harassment cases and 6 other physical harassment cases on Friday, the first day of Eid al-Adha.
Already a persistent problem, sexual harassment becomes a particular concern during vacations and holidays, despite organizing many marches advocating the right of women to walk safely in streets.
Activists who launched an initiative dubbed "I witnessed harassment" said in a report Friday that more than 60 percent of women who were in downtown Cairo were subjected to sexual harassment, including areas such as Qasr al-Nil Bridge, Abdel Moneim Riad Square, and Talaat Harb Street. The statement added that some incidents involved violence.
Most of the violations were carried out by boys between eight and 20 years old, with a few cases of perpetrators over the age of 20. The age of harassed girls ranged from between 11 to 20 years old.
The report included criticism of the police from volunteer activists who recorded the harassment incidents, saying the police questioned the identity of activists without taking any legal action against harassers.
The report cited a collective harassment incident at the Nile Corniche in Maadi, where a group of no less than 40 men attacked 50 girls. The report added the police did not interfere to stop harassers except when activists started filming the incident.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil said last Monday that his government was preparing a draft law that would impose harsher penalties against perpetrators of sexual harassment.