Sexual harassment in Egypt has been an ongoing phenomenon for years and violators haven’t received any serious repercussion for their actions until just this week. A man in Cairo, Egypt has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for groping a passerby from his van. The verdict received a rather pleasing response from women’s rights activists in Egypt who believe the verdict has set an example so that other men can think twice before sexually harassing a woman.
A survey released this year by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights found that 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt and 83 percent of Egyptian women had experienced some kind of sexual harassment. But few women had attempted to file charges, citing a lack of confidence in the police and the judicial system. Women often decide not to report harassment out of concern for their reputations, activists say.
While no laws in Egypt specifically ban harassment, cases can be brought under various existing laws, Ms. Ostaz said. “The problem is that women aren’t taking advantage of the laws we have,” she said. “Unless we insist on our rights, and say no, and at least ask for help, or get him to the police station, things won’t change.”
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