Demand Egypt Protect Women from Sexual Harassment

Target: Egyptian legislators

Goal: End Egypt’s rape epidemic by concretely defining and prosecuting sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is unfortunately an accepted part of Egyptian life. A recent UN survey revealed that 99.3% of Egyptian women reported being sexually harassed, with 91% affirming that they feel unsafe in the street. The recent announcement of the forced departure of President Mohamed Morsiof led to an unprecedented number of sexual assaults in one day. On the streets around Tahrir Square, 80 women reported being sexually assaulted. One major problem contributing to the sexual harassment epidemic in Egypt is that sexual harassment is not defined under Egyptian law, making prosecuting perpetrators extremely difficult.

Soraya Bahgat, a women’s right advocate and co-founder of Tahrir Bodyguard, a group that rescues women from assault, described the recent event of 80 sexual assaults in one day as a “step up” from the usual, which speaks to how severe and bad the situation is since Egyptians have become “desensitized to rape.” One woman wrote about her experience, saying “Suddenly, I was in the middle, surrounded by hundreds of men in a circle that was getting smaller and smaller around me. At the same time, they were touching and groping me everywhere and there were so many hands under my shirt and inside my pants.” Bahgat, who herself narrowly escaped assault, describes this circle as “the circle of hell.”

Without a doubt, Egyptian legislators must pass a law to define sexual harassment. Stricter laws will allow for the punishment of perpetrators, deter perpetrators from sexually assaulting women, and will force police to take sexual abuse cases more seriously. Sign the petition to demand Egyptian legislators to protect women from sexual assault. No one should feel desensitized to rape because it happens too frequently.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Egyptian legislators,

A recently released UN survey revealed that 99.3% of Egyptian women reported being sexually harassed, with 91% affirming that they feel unsafe in the street as a result. Sexual harassment is unfortunately an accepted part of Egyptian Life. Some describe the society as being desensitized to rape because it happens so commonly. Even so, the recent event of 80 women reporting being sexually assaulted in one day is unprecedented and extremely alarming. One woman wrote about her experience, saying “Suddenly, I was in the middle, surrounded by hundreds of men in a circle that was getting smaller and smaller around me. At the same time, they were touching and groping me everywhere and there were so many hands under my shirt and inside my pants.” This circle has been described as the circle of hell.

Over 90% of Egyptian women do not feel safe because of these attacks. One way you can help to lessen the problem and create a safer environment is to specifically define sexual harassment in Egyptian law. Without it, perpetrators are left unpunished of their crimes and are not deterred from brutalizing other women in the future. I urge you to specifically address and define sexual harassment in the Egyptian law to end the rape epidemic in your country.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lorenz Khazaleh via Flickr

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2 Comments

  1. s pasarell says:

    Get them the hell into the 21st century. This is yet more barbaric behavior, brute force/mob rule win…

  2. Sheila Dillon GGma Sheila says:

    Why are Middle Eastern men so afraid of their women??

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